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Appeal for volunteers for research into endometriosis

Lady suffering from stomach pain

An OU PhD student is calling for volunteers to take part in research into endometriosis, a chronic condition affecting over one million women in the UK.

Need for employers to adopt a menstrual policy?

PhD research student Victoria Williams, an endometriosis sufferer herself, is exploring the experiences of those working with endometriosis and the influence of menstrual workplace policy  which could provide people with painful periods or other debilitating menstrual related conditions (such as endometriosis, PCOS, Adenomyosis, etc) flexible and reasonable adjustments for a healthier working environment.

“Variations of such policies provide permission for employees, when symptoms are at their worst, to reduce hours; work from home; re-allocate tasks; and/or take a day’s paid leave. It also offers guidance for employers, for example, to offer training on invisible menstrual experiences for managers or to tailor absence policies to recognise symptoms/conditions so sick days are not detrimental to a person’s career.” said Victoria.

Victoria’s research has already been referenced in a Parliamentary debate in the latter part of 2019.

Working to accommodate symptoms

Endometriosis is a chronic condition affecting one and a half million women in the UK, predominantly of working age. Despite experiencing invisible, fluctuating and debilitating symptoms on a regular basis, many women continue to work in pain, or need to alter working patterns to accommodate symptoms such as becoming part-time, self-employed or leaving the workforce entirely.

The study aims to:

  • provide an account of what people are battling in their working lives with endometriosis
  • reflect on inclusive practices available for people with endometriosis before, during, and after the coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • help raise awareness among practitioners and policy makers to attend to endometriosis and improve support in the workplace
  • develop recommendations for practices and policies that could better accommodate and empower people with endometriosis in the workplace, in ways that are supportive of their health and well-being, as well as their careers

Please get in touch with me if you are aged 18-49 with medically diagnosed endometriosis as I’m looking for 15-20 people for this longitudinal study. I want the sample to be as diverse as possible to reflect the community and different working sectors across the UK so I’m hoping to attract interest from a wide enough pool.”

Victoria Williams
PhD research student, Open University Business School

The first interview for the study will take place in the coming months, followed by a diary study over the winter, and then a second interview in spring 2021.

Find out more and register

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