A person sits at a desk with pain radiating from their abdomen

Endometriosis, Work, and Career: Stories from Our Community

Endometriosis can affect every aspect of life. From painful symptoms to frustrating flares, endometriosis can take a toll, physically, mentally, and emotionally. To better understand the experiences of those coping with endometriosis, we conduct our Endometriosis In America survey.

Last year, we gathered stories about symptoms and diagnosis, relationships and intimacy, recurrence, and treatment. We also learned about how endometriosis impacts work life and career, and how endo warriors have adapted or changed their professional pursuits due to endometriosis. We heard from 1,234 endo warriors who shared how endometriosis has affected their job or career. Today, we are sharing those stories.

Changes due to endometriosis

For some endo warriors, endometriosis means changing jobs or even changing employers. For others, endometriosis requires adjusting a work schedule to better manage symptoms or scheduling important meetings around the menstrual cycle. To better balance endo and career, some endo warriors shared that they have used sick days or switched to working from home. Others have had to show up for work even when struggling with a painful flare or take unexpected breaks at work.

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Because of endometriosis, 28% have reduced hours they work, 23% have changed jobs/employers, 16% have changed their career

Stepping back from work

While some endo warriors are able to adjust their workspace, their job, or their hours to better accommodate their needs, others find they need to take a step back from working due to endo. Several community members shared experiences of taking time off from work to recover from endometriosis-related surgeries, such as a laparoscopy or hysterectomy. Some community members shared that they rely on a family member, such as a partner or spouse, to support them while they are unable to work.

Because of endometriosis, 25% have taken a medical leave, 16% have stopped working (their choice)

Dealing with job loss

Sadly, many of our endometriosis community members have experienced the loss of a job or the inability to work due to endometriosis and its symptoms. Some community members shared stories of losing their jobs, while others have applied for disability or time off through the Family Leave and Medical Act (FMLA).

Because of endometriosis, 11% lost their job (employer's choice), 5% had to go on disability

Every person’s experience with endometriosis is different. While some endo warriors choose to stop working due to endo, others have made significant changes to their job or career. For some, working with endo is just not possible. No matter what your experience is, we know it is not easy!

If you have questions about workplace accommodations, legal protections for employees, or other considerations for working with endo, we encourage you to check out the articles below. You can also connect with the endometriosis community, or click below to ask us a question.

Normalize Working from Home
Workplace Accommodations for Endometriosis
Planning Your Work Around Your Period
Work, Career, and Endometriosis

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