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From womanhood to endometriosis: findings from focus groups with women from different ethnic groups

Endometriosis is a long-term, disabling condition, and acommon cause of chronic pelvic pain, yet little is known about the experience of the disease among women from minority ethnic groups. This paper reports on the first phase of a UK-based study (the Endocul Project), which explored community awareness of endometriosis and the experience of living with the disease in a sample of women from a range of minority ethnic communities (Indian, Pakistani, African Caribbean, Chinese and Greek/ Greek Cypriot). Focus groups were conducted with healthy women from these five communities on contextual issues surrounding endometriosis and the women’s awareness of the condition. The data reveal many similarities between the groups, and between them and the majority white population. They also highlight cultural differences in perceptionsof reproduction, fertility and menstruation. While not wishing to stereotype women, the findings of this study demonstrate the importance for providers of healthcare of recognising socio-cultural differences.

Author(s): Lorraine Culley, Irena Papadopoulos, Elaine Denny, Patricia Apenteng

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