A WOMAN from Penarth has hailed vital funding towards the painful condition Endometriosis.

Research funded by Health and Care Research Wales aims to speed up diagnosis and help patients suffering with the condition feel heard.

Endometriosis is a progressive, incurable disease where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows elsewhere in the body. This can lead to inflammation, localised bleeding, pain and the formation of scar tissue and adhesions.

This invisible condition can be debilitating, impacting on physical and mental wellbeing, time in education and productivity at work. However, it takes an average of nine years to be diagnosed in Wales.

In the wake of Endometriosis Awareness Month, Rachel Joseph, PhD student at Cardiff University, is investigating how to improve initial conversations between patients and GPs in order to improve symptom identification and speed up diagnosis.

Beth Hales, from Penarth, is involved in the study. Ms Hales was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2015 after almost 20 years of painful periods and fertility issues. She said she didn’t even know about the condition until she was diagnosed.

“I hadn’t even heard of endometriosis until I was diagnosed aged 30,” said Ms Hales

“One of the main barriers is the lack of research into the condition.

“This disease needs to be understood more widely in order to make progress for patients and give hope for the future.

“Thanks to research like Rachel’s I can reassure my daughters that things will be different for their generation, so they don’t have to go through the long battle for diagnosis and treatment that patients are currently faced with.”

Penarth Times:

Beth Hales says she did not even know about the condition until she was diagnosed

Rachel’s research will evaluate the Endometriosis Cymru website and symptom tracker, which was developed following recommendations by the Welsh Government’s Women’s Health Implementation Group in 2018, as well as interviewing patients, GPs and specialist endometriosis nurses.

She explained: “By understanding how patients and primary care professionals talk about endometriosis symptoms, we can ensure the symptom tracker is effective and develop recommendations for patients and healthcare professionals.”

Rachel continued: “I am passionate about creating change for endometriosis patients and hope this research will help patients feel heard.”