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Public perceptions of endometriosis: perspectives from both genders

Authors

  • DIVYA K. SHAH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
      Divya Shah, Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA. E-mail: dkshah@partners.org
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  • MOLLY B. MORAVEK,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • ANJEL VAHRATIAN,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • VANESSA K. DALTON,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • DAN I. LEBOVIC

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
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Divya Shah, Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA. E-mail: dkshah@partners.org

Abstract

Objective. Many women with endometriosis experience significant delay between the onset of symptoms and definitive diagnosis. Much is published on physician awareness of endometriosis and on the experiences of women with the condition. There is a paucity of data, however, surrounding perceptions of endometriosis in the general population. This study aims to assess knowledge of endometriosis among individuals of both genders. Design. Survey study. Setting. Family waiting room of a large university hospital. Population. A total of 543 men and women. Methods. Surveys were distributed to men and women over the age of 18 in the family waiting room of a large university hospital. Main outcome measures. A series of questions regarding the etiology, symptoms, and treatments for endometriosis were combined into a composite knowledge score. Results. Knowledge of endometriosis was positively correlated with female gender, education level, regular health care, and exposure to individuals with the disease. Women diagnosed with endometriosis were more likely to have discussed symptoms of the condition with their physicians than women without the diagnosis. Conclusions. Individuals of both genders have limited knowledge of the signs and symptoms of endometriosis, which may contribute to the delay in diagnosis of the condition.

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