Learning to take charge: women's experiences of living with endometriosis

Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2003 May;9(2):62-8. doi: 10.1016/S1353-6117(02)00138-5.


This paper describes aspects of a study that was conducted to determine women's needs for information related to laparoscopy for endometriosis. Sixty-one women attended focus groups, during which they described endometriosis as a disease of multiple losses: of relationships, of career and of a sense of self-worth. The women indicated that the pathway to diagnosis and treatment had been long and unnecessarily difficult. Many women said that they had reached a point where they decided enough was enough: the medical merry-go-round had to finish. They had to become assertive, take control and decide for themselves how they were going to manage their disease and their quality of life. For all but one woman in the study, complementary therapies were vital. For some women, alternative therapies had replaced allopathic medicine completely. Complementary/alternative therapies were a mechanism for regaining control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Complementary Therapies / psychology*
  • Endometriosis / diagnosis
  • Endometriosis / nursing
  • Endometriosis / psychology*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / nursing
  • Pain / psychology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women's Health*