Diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis in Ireland is “disgraceful” and “dreadful”, according to many women suffering from the illness.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
While it is treatable, pain, fatigue and other harmful symptoms are common among women who suffer from it.
Irish Singer RuthAnne told Lunchtime Live she has been suffering with chronic pain since 2018 and she had an intense flare-up over the weekend.
“I had surgery in 2019 and it saved my life - I went from having daily chronic pain to no pain at all,” she said.
“But of course, my doctor did warn me this can come back... where I'm at right now is that the pains are returning, the symptoms are returning quite badly."
While RuthAnne was diagnosed with endometriosis in the UK within two years of noticing the problem, she said the average time women can wait for a diagnosis is five years.
“The Irish healthcare system is absolutely disgraceful,” she said.
“They’re offering outdated laser surgeries that don’t get to the root of the problem, there’s no aftercare.
“With my [British] doctor, it was like a holistic approach of diet, lifestyle, physiotherapy... I've spoken to a lot of women in Ireland, they're on waiting list for surgeries.
“They’re being pied off by doctors.
“A lot of women that you speak to in Ireland are going to other countries to get the care for this which is a disgrace.”
Ali told the show she is about to get her sixth surgery for endometriosis and agreed the Irish healthcare system is “dreadful” when it comes to the illness.
“I have seen 11 different doctors before I got properly diagnosed,” she said.
“I was brushed off and just told I have IBS or it’s ghost pains or particularly difficult periods.
“I started to question myself on whether it was normal to be almost vomiting from the pain, taking painkillers not being able to hold down a job and just staying in bed from the exhaustion and the lethargy.”
She was only properly diagnosed when she went to a private clinic in Blackrock.
“I wasn't diagnosed till I was 27 and I began having symptoms at 14,” she said.
“If I hadn’t seen Dr Kroon in the Blackrock Clinic, I don’t think I would have my children as I was experiencing infertility.”
'They don't actually see me when I'm in bed'
RuthAnne took to social media yesterday to discuss the pain she feels during flare ups.
“I'm quite vocal on my page about endometriosis but I never have really shown people when I'm in the middle of a flare,” she said.
“It’s so easy for people to look at my page and think it's all singing for celebrities and makeup and glam, but they don't actually see me when I'm in bed.
“There’s so many women suffering, and what can we do?”
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