ELLESMERE Port MP Justin Madders has called for more support for women suffering with endometriosis after a new report showed diagnosis times have significantly worsened over the last three years.

The former Shadow Health Minister was among those who attended a parliamentary reception hosted by Endometriosis UK.

The condition, which sees tissues which are similar to the lining of the uterus grow outside of the womb, can cause severe pain and contribute to fertility issues. It is thought to affect as many as 1.5m women in the UK.

Mr Madders pledged support for those suffering with endometriosis after new data showed diagnosis times in the UK have significantly worsened over the last three years, increasing to an average of eight years and ten months.

The Ellesmere Port MP said: “Endometriosis affects 1.5million women in the UK, and can have a significant, sometimes devastating impact on all aspects of life. Despite this, it is a disease that is widely unheard of and without awareness, the pain and symptoms of endometriosis can be dismissed or brushed aside as ‘normal’.

“Without a diagnosis, treatment can’t be accessed and the disease may progress. Now is the time to reverse the trend and take real steps forward in driving down diagnosis times for endometriosis.”

The report found that almost half of all respondents (47 per cent) had visited their GP ten or more times with symptoms prior to receiving a diagnosis, and 70 per cent had visited five times or more.

Only ten per cent of respondents reported that GPs mentioned they suspected endometriosis at either their first or second appointment where symptoms were discussed.

52 per cent had visited A&E at least once, and fewer than a fifth of those (17 per cent) were referred to gynaecology at their first visit. 26 per cent of respondents visited A&E 3 or more times with symptoms prior to diagnosis.

20 per cent reported seeing a gynaecologist ten or more times before being diagnosed.