• Katja Poulsen
  • Liv Juul Nielsen
  • Anders Lundme Funch
4. term, Public Health, Master (Master Programme)
Title: Lacking recognition of endometriosis in adolescence – in a critical hermeneutic perspective. Background: Endometriosis is a disease that worldwide is found in 10% of all women of childbearing age. In spite of this large prevalence, it takes 4 to 11 years from first onset of symptoms until time of diagnosis, and the majority experience symptoms debut in adolescence. Endometriosis affects the women’s lives both physically, psychologically and socially, and lack of recognition from society causes the pain the women experience to be neglected, hidden and normalized. Preventative measures targeting endometriosis in adolescence are limited and there is a need to change the way these symptoms are viewed and affected by society at large. Aim: The aim of this dissertation is to investigate the experience that women, whose symptoms of endometriosis started in adolescence, have of their social networks effect on their own perception of the disease and quality of life. Method: With a critical hermeneutic approach, individual interviews were conducted with women who have endometriosis, and the analysis and interpretation were done with the method developed by Pedersen and Dreyer’s (2018) based on Ricoeur’s critical theory. In the critical interpretation, both Arthur Kleinman’s understanding of illness narrative and Axel Honneth’s recognition theory are applied to raise the interpretation of the common threads of the women’s experiences to a level of generalized inference. A systematic literature study was also conducted and the results of this, and other scientific literature, is applied to the discussion of the primary results as a continuation of the critical interpretation. Findings: Results of the critical interpretation and the systematic literature study, shows that women experience having to fight for recognition of symptoms from their immediate surroundings including from family, friends, schools and health professionals, because symptoms that are considered linked to menstruation are deemed to be normal for women to experience. Diagnosis is obtained only after years of fighting for recognition and it therefore becomes a new opportunity to be understood, and it brings new opportunities for mastering life with endometriosis. Conclusion: To help adolescent women with endometriosis achieve recognition, there is a need to change the existing societal discourses surrounding women’s pain and menstruation. Through interventions at the meso level, for example in schools, on social media and targeting health professionals it might be possible to influence and change the discursive conversation that happens between the women with endometriosis and their social network.
Publication date1 Jun 2022
Number of pages125
External collaboratorAarhus University
Projektkoordinator Ulrik Bak Kirk ubk@ph.au.dk
ID: 471782154