Endometriosis and its detrimental effects on women’s working lives

Endometriosis and its detrimental effects on women’s working lives

Endometriosis and its detrimental effects on women’s working lives_ichhori.com

Endometriosis is not a "career woman's disease," as it was once thought, but it does have an impact on the careers of working women.
Endometriosis affects at least one in every nine girls and women in Australia, and the consequences are severe for those who are affected. Symptoms include the stomach, back, and hip pain, and it has a negative impact on one's quality of life.
According to a recent Finnish study, women with endometriosis took ten or more sick days compared to those who did not have the condition. This is the first study to look at how the condition affects older professionals.
The study followed 4,000 women in Finland for two years and discovered that women with endometriosis claimed ten more disability days on average than women without chronic menstrual health disorder.

The link between endometriosis and women's working life.

The study, however, found no link between endometriosis and early retirement or unemployment.
According to the authors of the paper, their study was the "first general population-level study on the association between endometriosis and work ability," and they acknowledged that the research was carried out in a country with excellent welfare, healthcare, and retirement systems.
For many decades, numerous medical textbooks around the world labelled endometriosis as a "career woman's disease," referring to it as a condition that only Type-A women who postponed marriage and pregnancy to pursue a career suffered from.
Historically, patients were forced to choose between getting pregnant or having a hysterectomy.
Thankfully, these myths have been thoroughly debunked, and new research has revealed that the condition is affecting many women's careers.

Endometriosis affects on women's careers.

  • An analysis of over 1400 women published in the journal "Fertility and Sterility" in 2011 discovered that: women with endometriosis lost an average of 10.8 hours of work per week due to the severity of their symptoms, preventing them from working.
  • Two years later, a study in the United States discovered that patients with endometriosis had significantly more sick days per year than those without.
  • Despite being well enough to work, their symptoms, such as pain and fatigue, made it difficult for them to work efficiently.
  • A previous year's longitudinal study also discovered that people with endometriosis had a lower yearly salary and slower salary growth.
  •  "The consequences of endometriosis can be life-changing," said Professor Rogers. "In addition to the debilitating pain, fatigue, mental health issues, and infertility can occur – all of which can have an impact on relationships and financial stability."
  • Women's delays in getting diagnosed with endometriosis increased the likelihood that their profession would suffer in the long run. 
  • Women with endometriosis in more affluent countries, such as Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, say they are less able to work in the professions they want due to chronic pain and fatigue.

"As a result," the authors admit, "women still working at a late fertile age after endometriosis hardships may have the mildest phenotypes of the disease or be otherwise healthy, which may underestimate the actual effects of endometriosis."
The study, published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, concludes that more research is needed to quantify the effects of this common disease. The Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne launched three new collaborative research projects in April as part of a new programme to improve endometriosis outcomes. The programme is led by Professor Peter Rogers, director of research at the Royal Women's Hospital, who believes the collaborative projects will bring new treatments for those suffering from persistent pelvic pain as well as predict the most effective endometriosis treatment.

"There are thousands of people out there who believe their pain is unacknowledged and that their lives are completely dictated by this condition." We know that by conducting research, we can improve outcomes for people suffering from endometriosis and persistent pelvic pain."



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