What is Endometriosis—and why should employers care?

March 20, 2023

What is Endometriosis like in the workplace?

Endometriosis is not a term discussed in most conference rooms, but it impacts the bottom line of every business in every industry. Experienced by roughly 1 in 10 women, it’s a condition in which endometrial tissue is found outside the uterus. And it’s something all Human Resources departments need to be familiar with. According to a recent study, 55% of people with Endometriosis often or very often take time off work due to their symptoms, and nearly 1 in 3 have reduced their working hours to deal with the condition.

Unfortunately, many of the most common symptoms of Endometriosis are not comfortable for workplace discussions. These include very painful and heavy periods, painful sex, pain with bowel movements, and spotting or bleeding between periods.

Each person’s experience with Endometriosis is different. The birth control pill and other medications can reduce pain significantly for some. While others may go as far as considering surgery to remove endometrial tissue. This is why awareness of Endometriosis and access to experts who can offer the right approach on an individual basis is imperative.

It’s business, but it’s also personal

Despite its impact on everyday life and activities, Endometriosis isn’t legally considered a disability, but it is a chronic condition. If employees in your organisation feel they may have Endometriosis, there are a few initial strategies they can initiate to help ensure they’re prioritising their health. These include tracking symptoms and pain, recording whether there is pain with urinating and/or bowel movements, using over-the-counter pain relievers (with food), or reaching out to a qualified clinical expert in Endometriosis.

It’s personal, but it’s also business

Taking intentional steps to integrate Endometriosis support into your work environment and improving health outcomes for women will ultimately help the health of your business. By enabling employees to focus on their health, wellness, and productivity, you’re more likely to retain them. Here are some ways you can become a supportive, Endometriosis-friendly employer: 

  • Offer Endometriosis education and training for your whole team, not just your female employees.
  • Appoint Women’s Health Champions who can support the conversation around women’s health issues and workplace wellness to help break down the stigma and encourage openness.
  • Choose an easy-to-access, confidential digital solution, like the Peppy app for more personalised support.
  • Encourage flexible work schedules. If that’s not an ideal option for your business, make sure everybody is utilising their full break allowance.

What’s your first step?

Just as there’s not a single, simple solution for those that live with Endometriosis, the first empathetic steps for your business to take can also quickly become complicated. View this handy one-pager filled with valuable Endometriosis-related information to help your company keep pace with the expectations and demands of your workforce.

Women's Health