A debilitating health condition affecting women has been described as a “significant” issue in Leeds, as a senior member of the council calls for an inquiry into its effects.
Coun Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for Adults and Health, has called on a group of councillors to launch an inquiry into how women in Leeds are affected by endometriosis, a condition which can cause extremely painful and heavy periods.
Members of the authority’s Adults and Health scrutiny board are set to discuss the request at a meeting this week.
A letter from Coun Pryor, sent to board chairwoman Coun Helen Hayden, speaks of a recent meeting that he and Conservative councillor Matthew Robinson had with Keisha Meek, the founder of National Endometriosis Sisters Support – an organisation which helps sufferers of the condition.
It read: “It was suggested during the meeting that I write to you as Chair of the Adults, Health and Active Lifestyles Scrutiny Board to ask if the Board could consider an inquiry into endometriosis, how easy it is to be diagnosed and how accessible support is across the city for women of different ages and backgrounds, as this was raised as a significant issue in Leeds.
“I have no doubt that Keisha, and others I met, would be more than happy to attend a meeting to help answer questions, inform the Board both of her own experience and also some of the feedback she has gained through her organisation.
“I know that Cllr Robinson and myself would also be happy to attend. If this is something you think the Board would be able to pursue then I can put you in touch with Keisha who I am sure would appreciate the support of her city.”
A report published earlier this year into the state of women’s health in Leeds claimed that authorities should: “Offer greater support and compassion for girls and women with reproductive health issues, such as PMS, dysmenorrhoea, chronic pelvic pain and endometriosis.”
Endometriosis is thought to affect 1.5 million women in the UK, and sees cells like those in the lining of the womb found elsewhere in the body.
It is a chronic and debilitating condition that causes painful or heavy periods. It can also lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel and bladder problems.
The board is set to meet on Tuesday, July 23 to consider the request.