As many as one in six women who suffer from endometriosis could be giving up work because of the effects of the condition, according to new research by Standard Life which is announcing its commitment to raising awareness of this invisible illness.
Endometriosis is a long-term disease where tissue, similar to the lining of the womb, grows in other places, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel and bladder. It can have a significant impact on sufferers – such as excruciating pain and infertility – with far reaching effects on all aspects of their lives, socially and professionally.
New analysis shines a light on the impact the condition has on the professional lives of the UK’s 1.5 million sufferers. The majority (54%) of the worst affected report a reduction in earnings as a direct result of having endometriosis. This is in addition to the 17% who say they have encountered a total loss of earnings.
As diagnosis for endometriosis in the UK currently stands at seven and a half years on average, significant numbers of women are left untreated for a considerable amount of time. The symptoms of endometriosis mean that those with it are often required to take time off work, severely affecting their earning potential and financial stability.
Today’s alarming statistics come to light after it emerged that the condition costs sufferers £5,469 (€6298) per year in lost earnings.
Standard Life’s Campaign to raise awareness of endometriosis is supported by internationally-renowned portrait photographer Rankin, who is today (21st March 2019) unveiling a new exhibition ‘Beyond the Invisible’ which shines a light on the condition.
In conjunction with Standard Life’s partnership with Endometriosis UK, the photography exhibition will explore the lives of those suffering from the condition. Rankin’s subjects for the exhibition include endometriosis sufferers from all walks of life, TV presenter Julia Bradbury and BBC 5Live presenter Emma Barnett, as well as professionals who support sufferers through their work.
Julia Bradbury, TV Presenter & Endometriosis Sufferer says: “Endometriosis affects every part of a sufferer’s personal life and this research shows the extent to which it impacts their professional and financial life too.
“I personally know just how devastating endometriosis can be. But because it’s an ‘invisible illness’ it’s not obvious that someone is suffering.
“We need to raise awareness of endometriosis so employers step-up and support women who have it – as a matter of urgency. It’s fantastic to see Standard Life and Endometriosis UK working together to make this happen”