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Endometriosis Awareness Month: UK clinic pledges support to patients



On average it takes over seven years for a diagnosis of endometriosis to be made

To mark Endometriosis Awareness Month this March, Sapphire Medical Clinics has announced its support for the 1.5million women in the UK who are impacted by the condition.

The UK’s first CQC-registered medical cannabis clinic, Sapphire Medical has treated several patients living with the debilitating chronic condition, which affects approximately 10 percent of women aged between 25 and 40.

Endometriosis is often associated with pelvic or abdominal pain but can also cause significant pain elsewhere in the body and lead to other symptoms, including painful sex, reduced fertility and fatigue.  

The pain – which typically begins a few days before a woman gets her period and can last its duration – and other symptoms of endometriosis can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. 

This is exacerbated by delays in diagnosis – on average it takes 7.5 years from the onset of symptoms for a woman to receive a diagnosis. 

Experts believe this is in part due to implicit bias, which is prevalent across the healthcare profession and according to researchers in 2017, involves “associations outside conscious awareness” that lead to a “negative evaluation of a person on the basis of irrelevant  characteristics such as race or gender.”

Pain Management 

Conventional endometriosis-related pain treatment involves pain killers and/or hormonal treatment, with surgical intervention appropriate in some patients but medicinal cannabis is now available as an alternative when these first line therapies have not proved effective.

Until the law changed in November 2018, women living with endometriosis whose traditional treatment was not working, were unable to access legal medical cannabis for their pain and many were forced  to self-medicate by purchasing illicit cannabis, with no guarantee of its quality or contamination. 

Andie Willis, a patient of Sapphire Medical who has previously suffered with endometriosis and is prescribed  medical cannabis for a chronic-pain-related condition, says: “Endometriosis is an evil condition that  brings a raft of issues to women, including excruciating pain. 

“Medical cannabis has been very helpful in  managing my pain and it has been refreshing to be able to discuss my pain with the clinicians at Sapphire  Medical as they are committed to truly listening to their patients.” 

Sapphire Medical’s mission is to improve patient access to MHRA-approved medical cannabis to treat debilitating pain as a result of endometriosis as well as other chronic-pain related conditions when their conventional therapies have not worked.  

“Endometriosis impacts 1.5 million women in the UK and therefore Sapphire Medical strongly supports Endometriosis  Awareness Month and is committed to supporting women who suffer from it,” says Dr Wendy Holden, rheumatologist and pain specialist at Sapphire Medical.

“As our knowledge of pain conditions that respond positively to medical cannabis grows, Sapphire Medical wants to ensure more  patients know that medical cannabis is an option for their pain.”

Dr Holden adds: “Moreover, the issue of implicit bias is one that we take very seriously at Sapphire Medical as it relates to all of our patients. 

“To ensure a patient-centred approach is always taken, Sapphire Medical has instituted  a system that includes a rigorous process to prescribing medication. This includes a strict triaging process and a multi-disciplinary team deciding every potential new patient prescription. As such, our patients can  rest assured their wellbeing is at the centre of everything we do.” 

To understand if you or a loved one is eligible for treatment with medical cannabis, please fill out the  Sapphire Eligibility Assessment

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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