Guest Post: Research Opportunity From Emory University

Last updated: September 2019

We're excited to share a guest post from researcher Isabelle Loureiro, Master of Public Health candidate at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

My name is Isabelle Loureiro, and I am conducting research as part of my thesis. My research study will involve a one-time phone or video interview. The purpose of this study is to understand women’s perceptions and experiences of diagnosis of endometriosis, while exploring the role of a delayed diagnosis and phenomenon of menstrual concealment. There is a paucity of research on menstrual concealment and diagnostic delays surrounding endometriosis. Menstrual concealment is common in many societies and pertains to the stigma, or the socially undesirable attribute, involving menstruation.

My interest in this research is professional and stems from my passion to become a future OB/GYN PA. My medical passion for the past 10 years has been in women’s reproductive health. Although I do not have a personal connection with endometriosis, I do have loved ones who I have seen experience the symptoms.

Who is eligible to participate?

Participants will be eligible for the research study if they are 18 or older, biologically female, have a definitive endometriosis diagnosis date, speak English fluently, reside in the United States, and if their endometriosis diagnosis was established in the United States.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Isabelle Loureiro (isabelle.loureiro@emory.edu) for more information. The study will take place through November 2019.

Why is this research important?

Many studies confirm that women perceive their menstrual cycle as shameful and negative, which may contribute to the continued social stigma and the established phenomenon surrounding menstrual concealment. Stigmas may serve as a barrier to healthcare due to individuals not wanting to seek medical attention due to embarrassment. Women living with endometrial symptoms face delay in diagnosis because they conceal their abnormal menstrual symptoms and/or because medical professionals choose to normalize these symptoms, which ultimately creates a medical barrier for women.

Three quarters of endometriosis patients have been told that their symptoms are “in their heads”. When physicians attempt to convince a woman that her symptoms are not physical, when indeed they are, this stigma ultimately influences health outcomes by undermining patients’ self-confidence and trust in the medical profession.1,2 Thus, the stigma surrounding menstrual concealment highlight the nuances in the medical field as it pertains to diagnosing menstrual pain or endometriosis. This stigma has significantly hindered the ability for some women to receive the adequate health care they need to begin coping with their physical symptoms.1

Additional study information

The study has been IRB approved and is US-based. If you are interested in participating, please contact Isabelle Loureiro (isabelle.loureiro@emory.edu).

This study is not sponsored by or affiliated with Endometrisis.net.

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