The Need for Endometriosis Awareness: A Case Study of College Students and Medical Professionals

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Southern New Hampshire University
Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent chronic illness in which tissue similar to the endometrium develops outside of the uterine cavity. This disease affects an estimated 10-15% of individuals with a uterus at reproductive age and yet it takes an average of 7.5 years for an individual to receive an accurate diagnosis. This delay in diagnosis, along with recent studies on endometriosis, suggest a severe lack of education on endometriosis within both the medical community and the general public. There is literature that suggests there is a strong need for more education and awareness of endometriosis in the global medical community. However, there is a lack of literature that addresses the knowledge of college-age individuals in the United States on endometriosis. This thesis consists of a focus group at Southern New Hampshire University that determined the knowledge of college-age individuals on endometriosis, the menstrual cycle and reproductive health. This thesis found that there is a need for more education on topics relating to endometriosis, the menstrual cycle and reproductive health. General practitioners, specifically pediatricians need to develop more knowledge on these topics and be willing to share their information with their patients in order to educate them and ultimately reduce the length of diagnostic delay of endometriosis and other diseases characterized by reproductive issues.