Health + Wellness

5 Concerns Black Women With Endometriosis Face


Pain during intercourse? Pelvic discomfort? Stomach problems? Fatigue, infertility, or irregular periods? If any of this sounds like you, you might be dealing with a condition called endometriosis

Already familiar with the condition? Already diagnosed? Even so, it’s always good to know where you stand. After all, there are many unique challenges facing women with endometriosis, especially Black women. Although Black women are less frequently diagnosed with the condition, this is likely not due to a lower prevalence. Rather, it’s due to various barriers that impact proper diagnosis and treatment. 

Why? Well, it comes down to many factors, including healthcare access disparities and systemic biases within the healthcare system. In some cases, it’s inadequate medical facilities. In other situations, it’s due to poor health insurance and even doctors’ racial biases.

Let’s break it down. First, let’s delve into five significant concerns Black women face with endometriosis, and then after that, we’ll discuss how to address them. 

1. Delayed Diagnosis

According to some studies, it can take as long as a decade to properly diagnose endometriosis, and in Black women, twice as long. That could mean 20 years of guessing games, symptoms, and not knowing what’s really going on! So, it’s no wonder that delayed diagnosis is one of the most pressing concerns for Black women with endometriosis. Research also indicates that Black women are half as likely to be diagnosed, period, meaning that some never get the medical attention they need and deserve. 

What’s causing these issues? Many speculate that provider biases, misconceptions about pain perception in Black women, and a general lack of awareness lead to diagnosis difficulties. In some cases, it comes right down to the doctor. If your doctor doesn’t understand your body like you do, that disconnect can be a problem.

RELATED: Let’s Talk Endometriosis: Finding Support for Black Women

2. Can’t Find a Doctor

One of the biggest headaches in life can be struggling to find a doctor when you need one. In other cases, you’ve got too many options and don’t know where to turn. One doctor says one thing, another sends you to a specialist, and another contradicts the others. 

It can be exhausting!

Sadly, getting timely and appropriate healthcare services can be a significant challenge for Black women with endometriosis. Many structural barriers exist. First, you’ve got limited availability of specialist care in certain communities. Then, you’ve got the fact that some insurance companies don’t want to fully cover critical diagnostic tests and treatments. Finally, you’ve got financial issues that may affect your ability to pay out of pocket. 

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. Addressing these disparities requires systemic change, and systemic change doesn’t

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