Despite being the 2nd most common gynaecological condition affecting women in the UK, endometriosis is often diagnosed late or misdiagnosed as another condition. This delay in diagnosis and treatment has left women to suffer as they struggle to cope with this often debilitating condition.
If your GP, gynaecologist or other healthcare professional was negligent in investigating and diagnosing your condition, you could be entitled to claim compensation for the late or misdiagnosis of endometriosis. The compensation would reflect your pain and suffering and the impact on your health as well as your financial losses such as lost income.
If we believe that you have the grounds for an endometriosis compensation claim, we will support you by providing a ‘No Win – No Fee’ agreement. This means that you will not be charged any upfront legal costs in order to start your claim and if your claim is not successful, you will not incur any costs*. To start your free case evaluation, contact our gynaecological claims experts on 0333 577 9444, email [email protected] or complete our online form.
Why is endometriosis often misdiagnosed?
Research has shown that on average it will take 7.5 years before a women is correctly diagnosed as having endometriosis.
Due to the variety of endometriosis symptoms, it is often confused with and misdiagnosed as:
- Painful periods / menstrual bleeding
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)*
- Crohn’s disease*
- Other bowel conditions*
- Cancer: ovarian, uterine
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Uterine fibroids
- Poly cystic ovarian disease
- Pelvic floor dysfunction
- Bladder conditions
- Interstitial cystitis
The late diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis will not only impact the physical health of a woman (including her fertility) and her recovery from the condition, it can significantly affect her mental health. BBC research into endometriosis revealed that almost half of the women surveyed had suicidal thoughts and many required high-dose painkillers. The issue is made worse by the fact that endometriosis can only be diagnosed via a surgical procedure known as a laparoscopy and you must be referred by your GP. Many women have resorted to private tests due to the reluctance of their GP to refer them for further testing.
* Bowel endometriosis is often misdiagnosed as IBS or Crohn’s disease; this is a condition in which the endometriosis occurs on or in the large intestines, small intestines or the appendix. Endometrial tissue on the bowel affects up to one-third of women with endometriosis.
Read our FAQs
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue, similar to that lining the womb (uterus) grows outside the uterus and develops in many areas within the pelvic cavity including the ovaries (where it can form cysts), fallopian tubes, bowels, bladder as well as other areas. This building up of tissue and bleeding can result in pain, inflammation, irritation, infection and the development of adhesions or scar tissue.
Symptoms of endometriosis often include:
- Heavy and painful periods
- pain in your lower abdomen or back – usually worse during your period
- Pain during or after sex
- Painful bowel movements
- Rectal bleeding
- Feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your urine during your period
- Difficulty getting pregnant
Types of Endometriosis
The three types of endometriosis include:
- Superficial endometriosis: which is a mild form of the condition where endometriosis is seen in the lining of the abdominal cavity.
- Ovarian endometriosis: This form leads to endometriomas or cysts in the ovaries.
- Deep infiltrating endometriosis: This form of endometriosis involves the condition appearing in the utereosacral ligaments (which lie behind the uterus), the space between the rectum and vagina (recotovaginal septum) or other parts of the body such as the bladder, bowel or ureter.
Women with endometriosis can sometimes experience a number of complications.
- Fertility problems: endometriosis may reduce the chances of a woman becoming pregnant, this may be due to damage to the uterus and fallopian tubes. This is not definitive and the condition will impact a woman’s fertility differently.
- Adhesions (as the endometriosis adheres to other tissue and organs)
- Ovarian cysts
- Bladder and bowel problems: Endometriosis affecting the bladder or bowel can be difficult to treat and may require major surgery.
- Depression associated with chronic pain and the effect of the condition on quality of life, relationships, income and daily activities.
In 2017 a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Health reviewed the results of a survey of 2600 women suffering from endometriosis and fibroids. Some of the key findings included:
- 42% of women said that they were not treated with dignity and respect.
- 40% of women with endometriosis needed 10 GP appointments or more before being referred.
- 39% of women had to seek a second opinion
The report also highlighted the fact that many medical professionals simply lacked awareness of endometriosis and may not have fully appreciated the pain that many of these women experienced.
Emma Cox, Chief Executive of Endometriosis UK, said:
“Despite affecting 10% of females from puberty to menopause, endometriosis remains widely unknown, a hidden disease. Alarmingly, awareness is much lower in younger women, where over half do not know what endometriosis is. We all have a role to play in turning this around and taking menstrual and pelvic pain seriously; whether supporting people in the workplace to manage their condition alongside their career; healthcare practitioners supporting diagnosis; teaching menstrual wellbeing in all schools across the UK; or simply raising awareness of the symptoms so that people know if what they are experiencing is “normal” and it is no longer a taboo subject”.
For a medical negligence claim to succeed, including an endometriosis misdiagnosis claim, it must be shown that:
- You received a poor standard of care expected from a medical professional who owed you a duty of care. The medical professional could be a GP, gynaecologist or other health care provider.
- If it can be shown that substandard or negligent treatment by your practitioner has directly caused an injury, has worsened a condition, has delayed treatment, or caused unnecessary pain and suffering (both physical and psychological) you could be entitled to bring a claim for compensation.
The National Institute for Health Care Excellence (NICE) has produced guidelines and quality standards on how potential symptoms should be investigated. The failure of a GP, or other practitioner, to refer a patient for further investigation (eg. laparoscopy) could result in a serious delay in diagnosis and treatment, and possibly a deterioration in a woman’s health and fertility.
If you believe that your endometriosis was diagnosed late, the first thing to do is contact Devonshires Claims and provide details of your situation. Our experienced medical negligence solicitors will then review your case and determine whether you have the grounds to make a compensation claim for the late diagnosis or missed diagnosis of your endometriosis.
Compensation for medical misdiagnosis involves calculating a variety of costs and claiming damages to meet those costs. Judicial Guidelines are in place to provide a framework to determine the level of damages awarded for certain injuries in respect of pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
Most medical negligence claims will comprise of one or more of these types of damages:
General damages – are awarded as compensation for the direct effects of the negligence, where the defendant’s actions can be linked to the injuries sustained. These can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical injury, impairment, disability or disfigurement
- Mental pain and trauma
- Reduced quality of life
Special damages – are awarded to compensate for financial expenses that have been incurred as a direct result of the defendant’s action. These can include:
- Short and long-term medical expenses
- Travel costs
- Employment – loss of a specific career or job prospects, including loss of a pension or pension contributions
- Loss of income and earnings capacity
Devonshires Claims’ solicitors handle most gynaecological negligence claims on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you do not need to pay anything upfront in order to bring an endometriosis claim and you will not incur any charges if your case is not successful*.
If your case is successful we will recover most of your costs from the other side**.
For more information on our ‘No Win – No Fee‘agreement please click here.
Typically a patient will need to make a medical negligence claim within three years of the date of the treatment or three years from the date that they should or could have become aware that they received negligent treatment.
However there are some exceptions to this limit:
- Children under 18: If you are claiming compensation on behalf of a child, the limitation period does not start to run until they reach their 18th birthday. The three year limitation period will then begin to run from that date.
- Lack of mental capacity: A child or adult without capacity to run a claim, may not have a time limit within which to bring a claim. We recommend that you contact Devonshires Claims if you have any queries involving those who lack capacity and our specialist solicitors will be able to assist.
Most medical negligence compensation claims are settled out of court.
However if your endometriosis misdiagnosis claim does proceed to court, you can feel confident that your Devonshires Claims’ experts will support you and guide you through the process.
If you believe that you have been harmed by medical negligence relating to gynaecological surgery, childbirth, procedures such as laparoscopies or the misdiagnosis of endometriosis or other condition, you could be entitled to claim compensation.
If we believe that you have the grounds for a compensation claim, we will support you by providing a ‘No Win – No Fee’ agreement. This means that you will not be charged any upfront legal costs in order to start your claim and if your claim is not successful, you will not incur any costs*.
Why choose Devonshires Claims to support your endometriosis claim?
Our medical misdiagnosis claims service provides:
- A free no-obligation case evaluation
- Advice on the probability of success for a medical negligence claim and the amount of compensation you could potentially obtain
- Friendly, compassionate and experienced claims experts
- A No Win No Fee agreement i.e. you will not incur any costs if your claim is not successful*.
- Access to a network of medical experts and specialist barristers
Our experts work hard to secure victims of medical negligence the justice and compensation they deserve.