Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

During a debate in 2019 I talked about my own experience of being diagnosed and living with PCOS. Therefore I know first hand that these conditions have a profound impact on many women, and I sympathise with anyone affected.

Endometriosis and PCOS are chronic, complex and fluctuating conditions and can have an enormous effect on people’s lives. We know that one in ten women suffer from either of these conditions and I think it is extraordinary that nearly as many women in the UK have endometriosis or PCOS as have diabetes, yet the suffering associated with it is often private and unseen.

I know from my personal experience that women are often instantly dismissed and told that they simply will have to live with a syndrome that would cause so much pain and risk on a monthly basis. It seems very much that things are allowed to go without treatment and without any knowledge of the cause because they happen only to women.

I believe it is vital that more consideration is given to the number of women affected by endometriosis and PCOS. It is vital that we start normalising discussion around women’s health. The current lack of education, awareness and medical research dismisses women and our health problems. It tells us that our pain is less important, and that our fertility is irrelevant.

What is more, the knock-on effects of endometriosis on mental health is shocking; almost half of women who responded to a BBC survey in 2019 reported that they had experienced suicidal thoughts. Furthermore research from Standard Life has shown that nearly nine in ten women with endometriosis believe the condition has impacted their long-term financial situation.

In March 2021, the Government launched a 12-week call for evidence to better understand women’s experiences of the health and care system. The call for evidence has since closed and over 100,000 responses will be used to inform the Women’s Health Strategy.

We know that there are a multitude of health concerns that are unique to women and are often overlooked. It is my hope that this strategy will lead to improvements for women and women’s health. We need healthcare to work for every woman across the UK and we need action to be taken now.

Thank you once again for contacting me about this important issue. I appreciate there is still a great deal more to do, and I will therefore continue to support efforts to improve all aspects of women’s health. I hope that together we can seriously move this agenda forward, and demonstrate to millions of women that their voices are heard and that we will no longer allow them to suffer in silence.

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