The paternalistic categorising of endo as a cis woman’s disease has resulted in treatments that target the internal reproductive system which ignores other systems and sites of impairment, such as the bowel, diaphragm, lungs and bladder, despite the fact that pregnancy and menopause are not effective treatments (Jones, 2016).
The vast majority of writing on endo overlooks the fact that endo is not a condition that only effects women.
Sociologist Kate Seear (2018) frames endo as “perhaps the only global epidemic peculiar to women”.
Cara Jones argues that endo shouldn’t be considered a gynaecological disorder and called a gendered disability. They also document the barriers that trans, and gender non-conforming people face, including having to face ignorance and hostility from clinicians that are supposed to help them.
The gendered language associated with endo is steeped in racialised and heterosexist stereotypes of female passivity.
By using this language ignores important scientific contributions of feminists Elaine Denny and Dr Annalisse Weckesser and transgender science studies researchers Cara Jones, essentialising those who meet the criteria centred on traditional gender roles that exclude and neglect others.
The true prevalence of endo in cis women is unknown and still only an estimate currently at 10% of reproductive age women affected.
The prevalence of endo is uncertain, with current estimates lacking confidence due to lengthy diagnosis times and not being investigated fully in the gender diverse and transmasculine populations where prevalence rates are unknown (van Trotsenburg, Meriggiola & Luikenaar, 2022).
In a study conducted by (Ferrando, Chapman & Pollard, 2021) on 67 trans men who had undergone hysterectomy, endo was histologically confirmed in 1 in 4 or 26.9% of cases which is higher than the 10% that is suspected in cis women.
In their meta-analysis of two studies (Okita et al., 2021) found that the pooled prevalence of endo was 25.14% which is over double what the prevalence is in cis-white females.
This begs the question of whether endo is higher on a population level in transgender patients, and what the reason is for this. This is something that there is, again as with all areas of endo research, very little research on at the moment.