More than Four Years Pass Before Endometriosis is Diagnosed After Symptoms First Appear


More than Four Years Pass Before Endometriosis is Diagnosed After Symptoms First Appear

The time from the symptoms first appearing to women first being seen by a physician was also shorter among women who sought medical care due to symptoms rather than as a result of routine care.

The average time that passes between the onset of symptoms such as pelvic pain and the diagnosis of endometriosis is 4.4 years on average, according to a study conducted by researchers at the pharmaceutical company Abbvie and published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Journal of Women’s Health.

According to Dr. Ahmed Soliman and the co-authors of the publication, patient and physician education may be a factor associated with time to diagnosis and better education may contribute to further gains.

In order to measure the time it takes to diagnose women with endometriosis in the U.S. and factors that may cause a delay in diagnosis, the team of researchers conducted an online survey between August and November 2012 among women, ages 18-49. A total of 638 women who had had a doctor’s suspicion of endometriosis or who were diagnosed with endometriosis by a physician in the last 10 years were included in the analysis.

The researchers collected information about the women’s endometriosis-related symptoms and history of diagnosis. They then identified factors associated with delays from the onset of the symptoms to the first consultation by a physician and from the first consultation to the diagnosis of endometriosis.

They found that 56% of the women they analyzed reported to have sought medical care for symptoms such as menstrual or non-menstrual pain, and pain during sex. The majority (84%) of the diagnoses were made by a specialist obstetrician/gynecologist. Almost half of the diagnoses (49%) were made after surgery and the other half (51%) non-surgically.  

The average time that passed between the onset of the symptoms and the diagnosis of endometriosis was 4.4 years.

The average time from the symptoms appeared to the women were seen by a physician, was shorter among older women (ages 40-49) with 14.2 months (a little more than a year) compared to teenagers (below 18 years old) with 43.5 months (more than three and a half years).

The time from the symptoms first appearing to women first being seen by a physician was also shorter among women who sought medical care due to symptoms rather than as a result of routine care.

The average time from when the women were first seen by a physician to when they were diagnosed with endometriosis was also shorter among older women compared to teenagers with 12.4 months on average (a little more than a year) versus 34.5 months on average (almost three years). Finally, women who were seen by an obstetrician/gynecologist were diagnosed much faster (in 21,5 months on average) than women who were seen by a non-specialist (in 40.3 months - 3.3 years on average).

 


Research Source: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jwh.2016.6003


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