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Endometriosis hospitalisations have more than doubled among 20-24 years olds over the past decade

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Endometriosis hospitalisations among women aged between 20 and 24 have more than doubled in the past decade, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
endometriosis hospitalisations

Endometriosis hospitalisations among women aged between 20 and 24 have more than doubled in the past decade, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report also found that the condition is more prevalent than initially thought, with one in seven Australian women aged 44-49 experiencing endometriosis in their lifetime.

What is endo?

Endometriosis (or ‘endo’) is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows elsewhere in the body. It can also cause pelvic organs that are normally separate to join together.

People with endo often experience severe chronic pain. Symptoms include heavy bleeding, painful intercourse, digestive problems, and in some cases, increased difficulty falling pregnant.

Surgical intervention is the primary way to diagnose The condition is primarily diagnosed through surgical intervention.

Who does it affect?

Previous research estimated that one in nine people with a uterus have endo.

The new report from AIHW estimates that one in seven women aged 44-49 have been diagnosed with endo.

However, endo also affects non-binary people and trans men, and AIHW didn’t specifically reach out to those groups for this research.

This means the number of people who experience endo could be higher than what’s captured in this study.

Hospitalisations

The AIHW believes there has been an increase in endo-related hospitalisations due to increased awareness. This has also led to an increase in diagnoses.

The rate of endo hospitalisations doubled among 20 to 24-year-olds between 2012 and 2022.

Among the 3,600 people who presented to emergency due to endo in 2021-22, women aged 20-24 were the most common age group.

Diagnosis increase

Endo is historically under-diagnosed. According to the AIHW, once a person first experiences symptoms, it takes an average of six to eight years to receive a diagnosis.

However, recent findings show more women are being diagnosed at a younger age.

The AIHW suggests this could be because the general public and health professionals have more awareness of endo than in previous years.

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