Endo News Roundup

Last updated: January 2022

There is a lot going on in the endo world. Here is a look at some of the most recent (and interesting).

“Smart” tampons may help in earlier diagnosis of endo

Imagine being able to know whether or not you have endometriosis simply by asking your tampon. No waiting the average 6.7 years for a diagnosis.1

No need for surgery to have an answer. Scientists already know that the uterine lining and menstrual blood of people with endo have some distinct characteristics.

Cells look different under a microscope, there are more markers of inflammation, and genes are expressed differently.2,3 More studies in this area are ongoing.4

The next step may be a tampon that actually gives you the answer directly.5 New tech that can help people with pelvic pain get earlier diagnosis and treatment? Yes, please!

The search for new treatment options

A medication commonly used to control diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may offer a non-hormonal therapy for endometriosis.6 Scientists started looking at metformin for endo treatment because it decreases inflammation.7

In animal studies, metformin caused endometriosis lesions to shrink, and the researchers saw less scar tissue (adhesions).7 Metformin did help endo symptoms in one small randomized controlled trial in humans.

Study participants taking metformin had less period pain, non-period pelvic pain, and pain with sex. They also had lower levels of blood markers of inflammation.8

Metformin comes in pill form, it’s not birth control, can be taken while trying to get pregnant9, and it works in a different way from typical endo meds. We need more information, but metformin looks like a possible new option in the toolkit for managing endometriosis.

Working from home and having endo

The COVID pandemic has been undeniably stressful the world over. But an Australian survey found that the changes it has prompted in workplaces may have some unexpected benefits for people living with endometriosis.

Nearly 400 people living with endo responded to this online survey and here are the results:10

Before the pandemic, 65% of them said they had had to take unpaid leave to deal with endo symptoms because they’d used all their paid sick leave. 64% said they had felt judged at work for their symptoms. 

31% said they’d been passed over for promotion.14% reported that they’d lost their job due to their endometriosis. About two-thirds of the respondents said their work arrangements had changed due to COVID, with most of them switching to working from home.

Nearly 80% of those working from home said it has been easier to manage their endo symptoms. Because of this, 63% said they have felt more productive.

The survey also asked what changes could be made in the workplace to support people with endo. 86% said that flexibility in work hours and the ability to manage their own time would be helpful. Healthcare benefits, the ability to take rest breaks, and physical aids like ergonomic chairs and access to heating pads were other frequent answers.

What has your experience been? Are you looking forward to being back in the office, or hoping WFH will last forever?

How can we make the transition back to in-person work easier for people living with endo?

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