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Stigma and Endometriosis: A Brief Overview and Recommendations to Improve Psychosocial Well-Being and Diagnostic Delay

by 1,2,3,4,5, 6, 7,8 and 9,*
1
Department of Social Work, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
2
Department of Health Behavior, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
3
Center for AIDS Research, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
4
Integrative Center for Healthy Aging, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
5
African American Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
6
Department of Global and Community Health, College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
7
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, College of Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 49503, USA
8
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02115, USA
9
Society for Women’s Health Research, Washington, DC 20036, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mike Armour and Carolyn Ee
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8210; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158210
Received: 23 June 2021 / Revised: 29 July 2021 / Accepted: 30 July 2021 / Published: 3 August 2021
Endometriosis is a chronic gynecological disease that affects approximately 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. Symptoms of severe pelvic pain, infertility, fatigue, and abnormal menstruation can cause significant negative effects on an individual’s physical and mental health, including interactions with their family, friends, and health care providers. Stigma associated with endometriosis has been under-studied and is rarely discussed in current literature. Herein, this paper aims to provide a brief overview of published literature to explore and establish the plausibility of stigma as a driver of suboptimal psychosocial well-being and diagnostic delay among individuals living with endometriosis. We present the clinical characteristics and physical and mental health consequences associated with endometriosis, highlight several theoretical constructs of stigma, and review the limited studies documenting women’s lived experiences of endometriosis-related stigma. To mitigate harmful effects of this phenomenon, we recommend increasing efforts to assess the prevalence of and to characterize endometriosis-related stigma, implementing awareness campaigns, and developing interventions that combat the multidimensional negative effects of stigma on timely care, treatment, and quality of life for individuals living with endometriosis. View Full-Text
Keywords: endometriosis; stigma; diagnostic delay; gynecological disease; chronic pelvic pain; women’s health; psychosocial well-being endometriosis; stigma; diagnostic delay; gynecological disease; chronic pelvic pain; women’s health; psychosocial well-being
MDPI and ACS Style

Sims, O.T.; Gupta, J.; Missmer, S.A.; Aninye, I.O. Stigma and Endometriosis: A Brief Overview and Recommendations to Improve Psychosocial Well-Being and Diagnostic Delay. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 8210. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158210

AMA Style

Sims OT, Gupta J, Missmer SA, Aninye IO. Stigma and Endometriosis: A Brief Overview and Recommendations to Improve Psychosocial Well-Being and Diagnostic Delay. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(15):8210. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158210

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sims, Omar T., Jhumka Gupta, Stacey A. Missmer, and Irene O. Aninye 2021. "Stigma and Endometriosis: A Brief Overview and Recommendations to Improve Psychosocial Well-Being and Diagnostic Delay" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 15: 8210. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158210

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Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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