For women with endo, pain relief and lost work time adds up to $31k per year
We already know that endometriosis is intensely painful, now a new study shows how it’s also hurting women financially.
Researchers from Western Sydney University and UNSW Sydney surveyed more than 400 women either diagnosed with endometriosis or experiencing chronic pelvic pain.
They found women with endometriosis incurred an average cost of $31,000 per woman per year, with most of this down to productivity loss.
The study estimates endometriosis is costing the economy $9.7 billion a year – $2 billion more than previous estimates.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus is found outside the uterus, often causing severe pelvic pain and fatigue.
It affects around one in 10 women worldwide, and in Australia, around one in nine women born between 1973-78 were diagnosed with endometriosis by age 40-44.
Dr Mike Armour, lead author on the paper and a lead researcher at Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute, said the research highlighted the need for policy makers to recognise the “substantial financial burden” of endometriosis on many women.
“As well as health care costs, the pain they experience can result in time off work and a reduction in productivity, both at work and outside of work,” he said.
He said that reducing pain could reduce the loss of productivity and improve quality of life – yet many women report having their concerns about undiagnosed endometriosis being dismissed as “severe period pain”.
“This research clarifies that endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain can have considerable impact for the women affected, their carers and the wider economy,” he said.