Endometriosis: taking the pain seriously

Its patients often have a long experience with pain and feel that their suffering is not taken seriously. Actress Amy Schumer has raised awareness on the condition.

Painful symptoms of endometriosis often trivialised

Endometriosis: The "lonely" disease

Emmy winner Amy Schumer, known from films like "I Feel Pretty" or "Dating Queen", speaks openly about her experiences with endometriosis. She describes the disease as lonely - because she felt that many doctors and her environment did not take her decades of pain seriously. Pelvic pain is often considered normal in women and the suffering is experienced as dramatic, according to the actress.

The result: the disease is often only recognised after a long time. This was also the case for Ms Schumer. She finally underwent a hysterectomy and appendectomy in 2021, which led to immediate improvement. "I feel like a new person," said Schumer.

About 10% of all women affected by the disease

Many millions of women around the world feel the same way as Ms Schumer. They feel misunderstood and are dismissed as hysterical, hypochondriacal or dramatic. The problem is that the disease is often underestimated and undiagnosed.

There is a lack of awareness of this chronic condition, even though it affects about 10% of all women of childbearing age worldwide. Most are diagnosed in their 30s or 40s - often after decades of pain.

Preventing chronic pain

Everyone should be aware that chronic pain is not normal. And yet, women often dismiss the suffering as natural and part of their menstrual cycle. But a pain that interferes with quality of life is not acceptable for anyone. Endometriosis patients often suffer from pelvic pain, during urination or bowel movements, as well as bleeding, nausea and fatigue. Involuntary childlessness is also part of the clinical picture.

Check for, and exclude endometriosis

In the case of chronic symptoms, endometriosis should definitely be considered. It is important to clarify the symptoms in detail and to confirm or exclude any suspicion. This is the only way to initiate therapy early enough and treat any symptoms. A pain history can provide the first clues into a case.

Conclusion for medical practice: actively alleviate pain

You can play an active role in preventing or shortening a long pain exposure of your endometriosis patients. Chronic pain is not part of being a woman or part of the cycle. About one in ten women in your practice suffers from endometriosis - that's more than you might suspect.

If you want to stay up to date on topics in gynaecological oncology, don't miss the Charité Mayo Conference:

cmc23.pngThe 12th Charité Mayo Conference will take place in Berlin from 26-29 April and will offer the latest results from cutting-edge research and clinical care in the field of gynaecological oncology. In addition to lectures, participants can expect a diverse programme consisting of 12 hours of live surgeries, debates, exclusive master workshops and international panel discussions. Participation is only possible in person on site.

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