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The debilitating condition is caused by tissue similar to the lining of the womb growing in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It affects one in ten women and patients wait for an average of eight years from the onset of symptoms to get a diagnosis.
A survey of 1,100 sufferers in England by Endometriosis UK found that, of those who had gynaecology care delayed during the pandemic, 22 percent were still waiting for a new appointment.
Of those waiting for surgery, up to 37 percent were waiting for their procedure to be rescheduled. Some 17 percent had sought private care due to lengthy NHS waiting times.
The charity’s CEO, Emma Cox, said: “Whilst overall progress has been reported on reducing NHS England waiting lists, there is still a long way to go to ensure those with endometriosis receive the timely treatment and care they need.
“We’re particularly concerned that the needs of those requiring complex surgery may be neglected.”
Ms Cox said Endometriosis UK regularly heard from those struggling with debilitating symptoms while languishing on waiting lists.
She added: “The impact endometriosis can have on someone’s physical and mental health can be huge, with no idea how long they’ll be suffering chronic pain and sometimes debilitating symptoms while they wait.
“It cannot be a case of wait or pay for those with endometriosis stuck on long NHS England waiting lists.
“We’re calling for endometriosis to be given due priority so that those living with the disease and waiting for care are not left behind.”
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