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Endometriosis (opens in new tab) is a painful womb condition that affects one in ten women in the UK.
Statistically it can take on average 15 years of seeking help before receiving a diagnosis.
But now scientists in San Francisco have revealed that a simple spit test could soon help women diagnose themselves with the condition, and it could be available in the comfort of your own home.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition where tissue behaves like the lining of the womb and is found outside of the womb – so in areas such as ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder and abdomen.
Sufferers report severe pain and heavy bleeding – if left untreated the condition can also lead to infertility.
It was reported in March by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women's Health that 40% of women with endometriosis visited their doctor ten times before they were referred to a specialist.
The report also mentioned that for ten per cent of women it can take 15 years of seeking help to receive a diagnosis.
The tests, created by DotLab, could make diagnosing the condition easier, as they can detect small pieces of genetic materials called microRNAs.
These materials can be found in bodily fluid like spit, but the levels differ between endometriosis sufferers and women who don't have the condition.
Painful periods are one of the symptoms of endometriosis
Currently the only test to diagnose endometriosis is a laparoscopic surgery through a small incision in the abdomen.
To date, the exact cause of endometriosis isn't known, but it's thought it could be hereditary or due to environmental factors - namely the presence of chemicals called dioxins in the environment.
Symptoms of endometriosis can vary, but the most common include painful or heavy periods, pain during and following sex, bleeding between periods, pain in the lower abdomen and difficulty conceiving.
Endometriosis can also cause sufferers to be constantly tired, and experience discomfort when using the toilet.
What do you think? Would you use this test? Let us know in the comments box below.
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