Tag Archives: endometriosis

Beatrice Wishart: We need to do better at tackling Endometriosis

This week, the Scottish Parliament debated the horrible, painful, debilitating condition Endometriosis.

Shetland’s Lib Dem MSP Beatrice Wishart highlighted the distress this condition can cause and the impact it can have on women’s whole lives – and says that we must do better than the misogynistic dismissal of this condition that we so often see. Here is her speech in full:

I congratulate Rachael Hamilton on securing this important debate. So much has already been said about the impact that endometriosis has across all aspects of life, but I make no apology for repeating some of what has already been highlighted today.

I want to start by outlining exactly what is at the heart of this discussion: the lives of women and girls. Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar to that in the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as ovaries and the fallopian tubes. Symptoms include, among others, painful or heavy periods, painful bowel movements and pelvic pain. An estimated 1.5 million women in the United Kingdom are affected, which is similar to the number of women who have diabetes.

However, as we have heard, it takes an average of eight and a half years to receive a diagnosis, which means eight and a half years of pain, of missing out, of uncertainty and of explaining. How tiring must all of that be? Relationships break down because the pain and struggle are too hard to comprehend. There is the misogynistic dismissal of so-called women’s issues and people saying that it is just painful periods or, even worse, that it is perfectly normal for women to experience pain.

There are long waiting lists and a postcode lottery for treatment. There is a serious problem with delays in getting an initial appointment with a consultant, and Covid has only made the long waits even longer. Non-urgent appointments have been delayed because of Covid, but, for patients, endometriosis is not non-urgent.

One person told me that, although their GP has been good, before being referred to a consultant, their daughter had to go through various other options to rule out cysts, irritable bowel syndrome and food intolerances. More than a year after their GP’s referral, they are still to receive an appointment.

I have also been told by women that endometriosis has made them infertile, and how the inability to have children has affected their marriages. As many as 30 to 50 per cent of women who are affected by infertility have endometriosis.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Nonconformistradical
    @Brad Barrows "I’m sure low paid council workers who are getting 1% pay increases would be delighted to receive a 3.1% pay increase." The rate of inflatio...
  • John Grout
    I have to say I agree with James B, Phil, Jennie and Charley here. Having heard how wonderful it was in the old Liberal Party back in the day from Michael, J...
  • Brad Barrows
    Putting this in context, I’m sure low paid council workers who are getting 1% pay increases would be delighted to receive a 3.1% pay increase. How about a few...
  • Nonconformistradical
    @Lorenzo Cherin "However, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, all have licences, as art of a mix, of funding in some of them, so perhaps I should not say, few ." ...
  • Andrew Tampion
    I agree with this article. But for me there can be no freedom of speech without the right to cause offence. Brad Barrow is right with his example of abortion....