Just nine per cent of employers say they offer support for Endometriosis (the name given to the condition where cells similar to the ones in the lining of the uterus are found elsewhere in the body) according to new research from Peppy, the digital health platform. Yet, many women can have the debilitating condition which can take an average of eight years to diagnose and be incredibly painful for many. This is one of many conditions that women may need to be supported with, and Endometriosis Action Month is an opportunity to raise awareness of the support employers can provide to those affected by this condition across their working population.

Dr Mridula Pore, CEO of Peppy said: “Endometriosis can have a huge impact on an individual’s home and work life and it affects employers too. Not only is the condition itself associated with chronic pain and fatigue but it may also have a detrimental impact on an individual’s physical, mental, and social wellbeing, all of which can hamper an employee’s ability to be productive in the workplace.

“It’s also important to understand that the condition is often classed as a fertility issue and whilst it can indeed have reproductive consequences, the symptoms can affect women at any stage in life.”

Endometriosis Action Month: March 2022

This March, Endometriosis UK, the charity that works to improve the lives of those affected by endometriosis, has rebranded its Endometriosis Awareness Month to Endometriosis Action Month to reflect that real measures are required to help sufferers. Peppy believes this is a good reminder for employers to offer support that not only raises awareness of the condition but also helps employees get the help they need to diagnose, manage and treat their condition.

Effects of Endometriosis on wider staff community

Peppy encourages employers to be inclusive when communicating their support for staff with Endometriosis as the condition can also affect those who do not identify as female. Support should be offered in the widest sense possible to ensure the employer is compliant with D&I best practice and also because it is simply the right thing to do.

Mental health repercussions

According to Endometriosis in the UK: Time for Change published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Endometriosis, Chaired by the late Sir David Amess MP, 81% of sufferers said endometriosis had impacted their mental health negatively, and 90% would have liked access to psychological support but were not offered this. Thirty-eight per cent were concerned about losing their job, whilst 35% had reduced income due to the condition.

Dr Mridula Pore concluded: “As is evident from the cross-party report, while specialist clinical care is required for the condition itself, multidisciplinary teams may be needed to offer the most appropriate support for employees, particularly when mental health is also a concern. This is true for many areas of women’s health, whether fertility health, menopause, or other, that can all have repercussions for wider health and wellbeing.

“Many employers already have support available but may not be communicating it effectively to staff, and we would encourage those that do not currently support this condition to reassess their benefits provider to help staff deal with the.”