Analysing intersecting inequalities in ‘women’s health’ that affect people’s experiences of endometriosis pain: A narrative review
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Introduction Endometriosis is a chronic menstrual condition that often leads to severe pain and reduced quality of life (QOL). Intersecting inequalities impact on people’s experiences of pain, access to health care, QOL and health outcomes. Existing research into ‘women’s health’ and specifically endometriosis, focuses on the most privileged social identities, limiting its representation and understanding of all people living with endometriosis. Methods Thematic analysis and theory were used to analyse secondary data to understand how intersecting social factors, at the micro, meso and macro levels, impact on people’s experiences of endometriosis pain (EP). Findings Seven higher order themes emerged in the findings which emphasise how social factors impact on people’s experiences of EP. At the intrapersonal level these are: Experiencing EP, Impact on QOL, Social expression of EP. At the interpersonal level these are: Health care professionals’ perceptions of pain and Social perceptions and gendered roles. At the structural level these are: Awareness and education, Communication and language and Diagnostic delays. Conclusion Social factors can negatively impact on an individual’s experiences of EP, access to healthcare, QOL and health outcomes. Future research, policy and practice development must be representative of all People Living with Endometriosis (PLWE) to reduce inequalities in health.