There could be several reasons as to why misdiagnosed endometriosis is so common. Symptoms of the disease are wide and varied, affecting women in many different ways and sharing symptoms with other health problems. Sufferers have reported a range of issues from painful period cramps and painful sex, to fatigue, infertility, bloating, diarrhea and even difficulty breathing.
Moreover, endometriosis cells are not detected via medical imaging and there are also no simple tests, such as urine or blood samples, which can be carried out to confirm the presence of the disease. While ultrasounds and MRI scans can help in providing clues towards Endometriosis, the only definitive way to reach diagnosis is through surgical laparoscopy. Consequently, the disease takes an average of seven years to diagnose.
Perhaps the biggest problem though, is that endometriosis is a condition which is often not recognized or understood by both sufferers and medical professionals alike. It is much less widely talked about than many other health problems and there is a disparate lack of research and funding for the disease in general.
Furthermore, some women may dismiss their symptoms as normal, or have admitted to being too embarrassed to talk about their problems, which suggests there is still a societal taboo surrounding the open and frank discussion of women’s issues.