Dr Lisa Cameron has voiced concerns over current endometriosis and is urging the Government to ensure NICE updates its guidelines on endometriosis, echoing calls from the charity Endometriosis UK saying that the guideline has significant gaps.
Within the local community endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women and those assigned female at birth from puberty to menopause, although the impact may be felt for life. Yet diagnosis takes 8 years on average, a figure that’s not changed in a decade. For some, symptoms make it difficult to succeed in education or stay in employment, and the disease costs the UK economy an estimated £8.2 billion per year in treatment, healthcare and loss of work. During Endometriosis Action Month (March 2022), Following this, Dr Lisa Cameron MP has supported an early day motion asking for an update of current guidelines on endometriosis: diagnosis and management, to begin this year.
Dr Cameron believes a full review of current guidelines is required, with gaps being identified for example:
Despite endometriosis causing chronic and sometimes debilitating pain, many experiencing very painful symptoms are not able to access pain management services. A 2020 study by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Endometriosis, supported by Endometriosis UK, found that lack of pain management support was a commonly mentioned theme, and 58% of those with endometriosis would have liked to have been offered pain management services, but were not.
Often the unpleasant, scary symptoms of endometriosis may go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for many years – often longer even than the eight years it takes on average between onset of symptoms and diagnosis of pelvic endometriosis.
The 2020 APPG study also found 81% of those with the disease said endometriosis had badly impacted their mental health, and 90% would have liked access to psychological support, but were never offered this. Long diagnosis times when symptoms may not be believed, living with a chronic condition, living with chronic pain, and for some challenges around fertility can all have an impact.
Dr Lisa Cameron MP said
I was so pleased to be able to help this important campaign in my capacity as Chair of the Health APPG in Parliament. Endometriosis affects so many yet is rarely spoken of.
“Those with endometriosis often feel ignored or isolated. Whilst current NHS guidelines are in place they have notable gaps, meaning a lack of support and lack of pathways for care for those affected by the condition.
Due to these omissions, those with endometriosis are being let down and may be left without access to the care and treatment they need. An update to current guidelines could be transformative to many lives now and in the future.”
I fully support Endometriosis UK’s stance in asking the Governments responsible for healthcare in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to look into this. In Scotland, an analysis of the extent to which the guideline has been adopted has already taken place and the Scottish Government is due to announce their next steps soon.”