Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare South Fiona O’Loughlin says more needs to be done to improve awareness and treatment of endometriosis in Ireland.

According to the Endometriosis Association of Ireland, one in ten women in Ireland are affected by the gynaecological condition, but the best practice surgery needed to effectively treat the disease is only available abroad.

Deputy O’Loughlin explained, “In Ireland, it takes an average of nine years to diagnose this chronic condition – something which I find to be completely unacceptable.  Women are expected to live with crippling pain, bowel problems and nausea for years before getting a definitive diagnosis, and many experience fertility difficulties.

“What is also shocking is the fact the best practice treatment for endometriosis is not available in Ireland and women are being forced to travel abroad for surgery at a cost of around €8,500.  While the treatment is available under the cross-border directive, there is currently a minimum three-month waiting list for reimbursement.

“There are serious questions to be answered as to why this surgery is not available here, especially given the prevalence of the disease.  It is deeply unfair on women that they have to travel for another country for medical treatment, which should be available to them at home – it merely adds to the distress and anxiety they are already experiencing.

“I will be writing to Minister Harris seeking an explanation as to why women are still being forced abroad for treatment.  It is simply not acceptable”.