WHAT IS IT & WHO IS AFFECTED?
Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to that normally found in the uterus begins to grow outside of the uterus. It affects an estimated one in 10 women aged 18-49 – that’s 6.5 million in the US. Despite being one of the most common gynecologic disorders in America, there is a lack of awareness and prioritization of endometriosis as an important women’s health issue.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Endometriosis is associated with pain symptoms which can be debilitating and may interfere with day-to-day activities. Women with endometriosis can suffer for up to 6 to 10 years before proper diagnosis and many women cycle through at least 3 doctors. Endometriosis may lead to long-term pelvic pain (during or between periods), pain with sex and other painful symptoms, and approximately one-half to one-third of women with endometriosis will have difficulty getting pregnant.
HOW IS IT TREATED?
Endometriosis cannot be cured, but it can be managed. Endometriosis is a chronic disease that requires a long-term care plan, with the goal of reducing endometriosis-associated pain and improving quality of life. Current treatment options include oral contraceptives, pain medications like opioids, and hormonal therapies, many of which are not specifically indicated to treat endometriosis. Women may also endure repetitive and costly surgical procedures like laparoscopy or hysterectomy for symptom relief, which may not be curative.
WHAT ARE THE ASSOCIATED COSTS?
Recent data suggests that endometriosis is associated with increased healthcare costs and substantial burden to patients and the healthcare system. The estimated total annual societal burden of endometriosis-related symptoms in the US is $56 billion or $10,824 per patient.6
1De Graaff AA, D’Hooghe TM, Dunselman GAJ, Dirksen CD, Hummelshoj L, WERF EndoCost Consortium, Simoens S. The significant effect of endometriosis on physical, mental and social wellbeing: results from an international cross-sectional survey. Hum Reprod. 2013;28(10):2677-2685
2Data on File, AbbVie Inc. Diagnosed Endometriosis Consumer Segmentation; September 2015.
3De Graaff AA, D’Hooghe TM, Dunselman GAJ, Dirksen CD, Hummelshoj L, WERF EndoCost Consortium, Simoens S. The significant effect of endometriosis on physical, mental and social wellbeing: results from an international cross-sectional survey. Hum Reprod. 2013;28(10):2677-2685.
4Fourquet J, Baez L, Figueroa M, Iriarte RI, Flores I. Quantification of the impact of Endometriosis symptoms on health related quality of life and work productivity. Fertil Steril. 2011;96(1):107-112.
5National Center for Health Statistics. National Hospital Discharge Survey,2010. Hyattsville, MD: Public Health Service; 2010. http://tdrdata.com/ipd/ipd_searchresultsdataresultslistlink.aspx?Type=Trends&ICDCode=617. &Source=Trends. Accessed June 27, 2016.
6Simoens, et al. The burden of endometriosis: costs and quality of life of women with endometriosis and treated in referral centres, Human Reproduction, Volume 27, Issue 5, 1 May 2012, Pages 1292–1299,