Building A Better Future For Women With Endometriosis

Over the past 10 years, thanks to donor funding, the team at the Centre for Pelvic Pain + Endometriosis has been committed to addressing the gap in knowledge and outcomes for people with endometriosis.

Pictured: Dr. Paul Yong + Rachel Langer

As a Gynaecologist and the Research Director at the Centre for Pelvic Pain + Endometriosis at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, Dr. Paul Yong has seen late diagnosis, such as Rachel’s, time and time again. Dr. Yong is dedicated to creating an interdisciplinary approach to the disease that integrates surgical and medical treatments with physiotherapy, mindfulness, and education. His clinical research is to better understand the role of genetic alterations and nervous system changes in the development of endometriosis and its symptoms.

Over the past 10 years, thanks to donor funding, the team at the Centre for Pelvic Pain + Endometriosis has been committed to addressing the gap in knowledge and outcomes for a disease that affects 1 in 10 people. Research and awareness are what will result in this disease not only being diagnosed sooner, but treated uniquely for each woman’s circumstances.

For 11 years, Rachel Langer lived with undiagnosed pain. Like many other people suffering from endometriosis, she was told it was just bad periods and her pain was written off. Rachel was forced to advocate for herself, continually telling medical professionals that, “this is real. I need you to look at this. I need you to pay attention.”

After multiple trips to the emergency room, Rachel finally received her first surgery. In the years that followed, she had multiple other surgeries and investigations without any answers. It wasn’t until she was finally referred to the Centre for Pelvic Pain + Endometriosis at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre that her condition was properly investigated and diagnosed, and she was given the support to start living a better life. The doctors and researchers at the Centre for Pelvic Pain + Endometriosis work to give patients, like Rachel the information, personalized treatments, and education that aren’t available anywhere else.

Dr. Paul Yong
Gynaecologist + Research Director
Centre for Pelvic Pain + Endometriosis at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre

Dwayne Tucker
Ph.D. Candidate + Researcher
Centre for Pelvic Pain + Endometriosis at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre

Endometriosis is still poorly understood, underdiagnosed, and research is underfunded. However, thanks to donor support, the Centre for Pelvic Pain + Endometriosis has been able to hire research students like Ph.D. Candidate Dwayne Tucker. Dwayne is inspired to improve the lives of others through science and research. He is investigating treatment options to build a future where avoidable surgeries are reduced and women are spared from unnecessary physical, mental and financial stress. Dwayne states that “the best part of my work is when I get to see the sheer excitement and hope from patients when I present our progress to them”.

A key part of the Centre for Pelvic Pain + Endometriosis’s research is the Endometriosis Patient Research Advisory Board, as well as the over 4,000 patients who give feedback and advice to clinicians and researchers. The dialogue created because of this Board has been a vital tool for the team to gain perspective they otherwise wouldn’t have. Patients like Rachel are able to provide anecdotal gaps that medical professionals simply won’t know because they haven’t lived it. “It feels like a way to take our hard won experiences and put them to good use” says Rachel about her Advisory Board participation.

Patients like Rachel come to the Centre for Pelvic Pain + Endometriosis to experience life-changing care for their disease, but are also given the opportunity to help others by participating on the Advisory Board. The work being done at the Centre for Pelvic Pain + Endometriosis, led by Dr. Yong and catalyzed by research students like Dwayne, is just one example of the critical work donations to BC Women’s Health Foundation support.

Show your support for women, like Rachel, by making a donation to BC Women’s Health Foundation today to prioritize women’s health across the province.

 

When you give, you’re investing in the unique needs of women at all stages in their life. Every dollar contributes to a future where all women are seen and heard by the healthcare system. Together, we can build a future with healthy women everywhere, capable of anything.