Advertisement

Doctors Are Angered by Study That Ranks Endometriosis Patients by How “Hot” They Are

©Instagram

Advertisement

Imagine that you have a debilitating disease that’s hard to get doctors to even take seriously, never mind work with you to treat. Well, you’re envisioning having endometriosis – a thickening of bleeding tissue in a woman’s pelvis that can attack at any time of the month.

Now, imagine that the doctors who are supposed to be helping you, looking for better treatments and pain management, instead waste their time ranking patients by their looks.

Yeah. Take a minute for the rage to recede enough for you to see words instead of red.

Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women, and the average wait between the onset of symptoms and a diagnosis is a shocking 7.4 years. That, combined with the fact that it can affect fertility, means that it’s no surprise plenty of diagnosed women would be ready and willing to enroll in a research study.

Not, however, one where “scientists” try to draw a parallel between the hotness of a woman and the severity of her symptoms.

View this post on Instagram

I have become rather private online now: some of you may have noticed that my twitter has gone and that I've been through and deleted very personal Instagram posts and rarely upload things to my profile or story. Well this is the exception, and I'll tell you why in just a moment: Since I was 17 I've been diagnosed and rediagnosed with various whacky things. From gastro to gynae, neurology to mental health, I've been told it's all in my head and I've been told what I experience is normal and I've even been told that if I just have a baby then it will all go away. Yeah. You read that right. Well yesterday I had my first laparoscopy for endometriosis. Information on this condition is displayed in the second image. But it's a chronic illness that affects (new studies claim) 1 in 8 women. It's therefore incredibly common but it's one of the most under researched gynaecological conditions. For 7 years I've been told I'm just dramatic about my periods and about every little bit of pain I feel, but yesterday I was diagnosed and proved sane. I feel like a different person. My health has completely taken over my life over the last 18 months or so and to now feel like I'm coming out the other side is something I cannot articulate. Seven years at war and I'm finally on the way home, complete with battle scars. The reason I'm sharing this is that if it weren't for other endo patients raising awareness and sharing their stories, I would absolutely still be on a wild goose chase – I have had to do all of the digging and reaching out to medical professionals. I've been called all sorts and literally laughed at in appointments. And it was hard relating to posts online about a condition I was convinced I had but hadn't been diagnosed with. And I felt like a fraud every time I followed an endo insta account. So I'm posting this for those women: the women who haven't been diagnosed. And you know? Maybe you won't ever be. Maybe you find out it's something else but girl, you can be in our club for now. We're here to lift you up. Thank you to all the ladies who encouraged me, perhaps even without knowing. And thank you also to my amazing body. She believed she could so she did.

A post shared by Amy James-Kelly (@amyjames_kelly) on

The study, published in 2013 in Fertility and Sterility, was titled “Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case  control study,” and the researchers claimed their results showed patients with endometriosis were more attractive than those without.

Seriously.

The “gross” and “sexist” (not my words, but yeah) study included a physical examination that measured BMI, hip-to-waist ratio, and breast size, and ranked women on their attractiveness levels (based on nothing but male opinion).

The study included just 31 patients who, it should be noted, were not informed of the researcher’s hypothesis when agreeing to participate.

Though the authors tried to defend their hypothesis by speculating that increased estrogen levels could lead to both attractiveness and endometriosis, most scientists dismiss it as being absolutely pointless, not to mention regressive and harmful.

“I fail to understand how a small group of Italian doctors rating attractiveness of women with different stages of endometriosis contributes anything to medical science,” OB Dr. Jen Gunter wrote when the paper was first released.

She had more to say, all of which is in line with what most people should be thinking.

“If women with severe endometriosis truly do have a lower BMI there could be a multitude of reasons, some of which may actually be important, but this hypothesis is not answered by this study. In fact, this study of 31 women contributes nothing to the medical literature and Fertility and Sterility should be ashamed they accepted it for publication.

“Objectifying women has no place in medicine. It is even more horrifying that such a publication comes from a department on OB/GYN.”

Can I get an AMEN?