Productivity

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Science

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Unraveling the Economic Tangle: Menstrual Pain's Hidden Costs and Paths to Relief

Menstrual pain, particularly associated with endometriosis, presents a substantial cost of illness burden in regions like Europe, the UK, and the USA. The crux of these costs lies in reduced productivity. This blog post delves into our recent research, exploring the intricate economic impact of menstrual pain, period pain, and avenues for much-needed relief.

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP), persisting for over six months, affects countless women globally, disrupting daily life and requiring medical intervention [1]. This article explores the economic ramifications of CPP, specifically focusing on endometriosis, the leading cause of CPP. While the prevalence of CPP varies, impacting 5.7% to 26.6% of women, endometriosis alone affects 5% to 10% of reproductive-aged females [5-7].

In Europe, the UK, and the USA, a substantial multi-centre study revealed that the annual cost per woman with endometriosis was €9579, rivaling or surpassing burdens of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes [8]. However, the economic impact of non-endometriosis-related CPP remains understudied. This research addresses this gap, aiming to discern the economic toll on Australian women, considering healthcare, employment, and other associated costs.

To unravel the complexity, they conducted an online survey from February to April 2017 using SurveyMonkey. Targeting women aged 18–45 in Australia, they included those with either a confirmed endometriosis diagnosis or chronic pelvic pain without endometriosis confirmation.

The WERF EndoCost tool assessed direct healthcare costs, non-healthcare costs (carers), and indirect costs from productivity loss. Extrapolating estimates to the Australian population involved utilizing published prevalence figures.

From 407 valid responses, a significant cost of illness burden emerged for women with chronic pelvic pain (Int $16,970 to $20,898 per woman per year), regardless of endometriosis diagnosis. Notably, 75–84% of these costs were attributed to productivity loss. Australian productivity costs surpassed previous estimates from Europe, the UK, and the USA. Pain severity showcased a pivotal role, with a 12.5-fold increase in costs from minimal to severe pain. The total economic burden in Australia for the reproductive-aged population (at 10% prevalence) stood at a staggering 6.50 billion Int $ annually.

The research underscores that, akin to European, British, and American scenarios, productivity costs bear the lion's share of overall economic burden. With pain emerging as the chief contributor, the emphasis should be on elevating pain control for women grappling with pelvic pain.

This insight paves the way for Moonai's commitment to providing effective solutions for menstrual pain relief and fostering a healthier, more productive society.

Source: Armour M, Lawson K, Wood A, Smith CA, Abbott J. The cost of illness and economic burden of endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain in Australia: A national online survey. PLoS One. 2019 Oct 10;14(10):e0223316. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223316. PMID: 31600241; PMCID: PMC6786587.

February 5, 2024

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