Timely diagnosis is critical to a good outcome for treatable medical conditions. This is true both for conditions that threaten the life of the patient and those that impact their quality of life. All too often, doctors overlook symptoms reported by patients or fail to order adequate testing when patients present issues.
In the case of reproductive health issues, delays and diagnostic failures by doctors can have devastating results. In some cases, they may result in infertility issues that prevent a family from growing. Other times, the delay can severely impact the patient's quality of life or even their ability to retain a job.
In such situations, patients may have grounds for a failure to diagnose medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor who didn't take adequate care of them.
Endometriosis is both painful and damaging to female fertility
The relatively common medical condition called endometriosis is a perfect example of the medical establishment's failure when it comes to female reproductive health. Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when uterine lining grows in places other than inside the uterus.
According to national research, a third of women with endometriosis had to see three or four doctors before receiving a diagnosis. The process of going from initial complaint to diagnosis took an average of six to 10 years. During that time, the women in question likely suffered severe pain prior to and during their menstrual cycles.
It is also worth noting that they also likely experience fertility issues that prevented conception during the worst of their endometriosis symptoms. Adequate treatment and quick diagnosis can help women with endometriosis get their symptoms under control and move forward with their attempts to build a family. Doctors who fail to diagnose this condition can limit a woman's ability to start or grow her family.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is another condition that affects fertility
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is another example of a female reproductive health condition that may go undiagnosed for sometime. Women complaining of pain in their abdomen or near their reproductive organs may not receive adequate diagnostic assistance from a doctor, who may dismiss it as mere cramps.
PCOS can have a variety of effects on the human body, including serious hair loss and fertility issues. If caught in time and properly treated, PCOS symptoms can be reversed in many patients. For those who have a prolonged delay and diagnosis, the symptoms may become permanent.
If you went to your doctor and reported serious concerns about pain or symptoms related to your reproductive health, only to be ignored, you may have the right to hold your doctor accountable for their failure to provide adequate care. Failing to diagnose a patient is a critical mistake on the part of a doctor, one which can affect their lives for many years to come.