I am most grateful to the hon. Lady, who speaks with a great deal of personal experience. We have been friends for a long time—since we came to this place. We are two West Yorkshire MPs, despite being on different sides of the aisle. I am grateful to her for making those points. As I said, it is important that the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care take this forward. Other Members may wish to try to secure debates that are responded to by those Departments. I know that my hon. Friend the Minister will certainly feed those issues in.
I apologise for citing a lot of stories, Mr Pritchard, but it is important to set out the context. Another lady said:
“I had stage 4 (severe) endometriosis. I had a 7 year wait for diagnosis. From my referral to the hospital, I had a year and a half wait for surgery. My surgery was lifesaving as my bowel was 50% blocked with a mass of adhesions that had grown through the bowel. I was in constant pain, slept for 3 or 4 hours a day and was unable to care for my son properly, I considered putting him into care. If it wasn’t for him, I would have given up on everything. Despite being told in 2010 I ‘probably had endometriosis’
I was still given pain killers and mefenamic acid for years to manage the pain and symptoms. Throughout this time the endo was worsening, it is progressive. Had I been diagnosed earlier I may not have needed the bowel resection I needed and will have bowel issues for life. I was on the pill for 15 years, which is still considered a ‘treatment’. It is not. The same year I came off it (2010) I was at the GP with SEVERE bowel pain during my period (It was fused to my womb). The pill masked the symptoms, but it was quietly progressing. Please ban the use or presentation of the pill as ‘treatment’.”