Epidemiology and social impact of endometriosis today
1 – Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecological Oncology and Mini-Invasive Pelvic Surgery, International School of Surgical Anatomy, IRCCS “Sacro Cuore – Don Calabria” Hospital, Negrar di Valpolicella, Verona
Corresponding author: Silvia Baggio
Endometriosis is a chronic, persistent, recurrent pelvic disease that can cause debilitating symptoms and infertility or be completely asymptomatic. It is a very common disease among women of childbearing age, with a prevalence of around 2% in the low-risk population, from more than 40% in women with chronic pelvic pain and up to 50-60% in infertile women. It is believed that 176 million are the women affected worldwide, but the true prevalence rates are not fully known yet, mainly because the symptoms are often underestimated by primary care doctors and gynecologists, causing an average diagnostic delay of about 4-6 years. This delay is often the cause of an irrecoverable impairment of the quality of life of women, both physically, psychically and socially /relationally, as well as of an important loss of productivity and health costs soaring, making Endometriosis deserve the title of “social disease”. Understanding Endometriosis and its prevalence and improving the knowledge of its risk factors could help physicians to promptly recognize it or at least suspect it, and therefore direct the affected women to Specific Referral Centers, thus allowing an early taking charge with subsequent benefit for the single and for the society.
Keywords: endometriosis; epidemiology; burden; quality of life; costs; diagnostic delay.
Available in LRIOG Nr.3 – 2021