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Endometriosis and Insurance in China: A Pre-Existing Condition?

It may not be common knowledge to most people, but a rather large percentage of women worldwide suffer from a potentially serious condition known as endometriosis, and China is no different. Find out more about endometriosis here, and find out how women can protect themselves from it.

Posted on Aug 11, 2015 by Travis Jones

What is it?

Many women experience pelvic pain before or during menstruation. For most, a painkiller is enough to make it go away and there are no complications beyond a short period of discomfort. However, some women’s menstrual pains are so severe that they require medical attention – and many of those women will be diagnosed with endometriosis.

Endometriosis occurs in an estimated 10 percent of women around the globe, although some physicians say it could affect as many as half of all women at some time in their life. The condition arises when uterine tissue is found outside of the uterus. The tissue migrates and becomes trapped in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowels or the outer surface of the uterus.

The problem with migrating tissue is that it grows and bleeds during menstruation, just like the tissue that has remained in the uterus. This leads to swelling and pain in the pelvic region. Endometriosis is sometimes asymptomatic – but it often causes fatigue, spotting throughout the month, and pain during menstruation and intercourse. Endometriosis can also cause infertility.

What treatment is available?

The first step in endometriosis treatment is diagnosis. Although a routine pelvic exam can sometimes detect particularly severe cases of endometriosis, the best form of diagnosis is ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging. Both of these techniques provide a physician with a clear image of the inside of the patient’s reproductive organs, demonstrating the presence of endometriosis.

Endometriosis can be controlled with a hormonal birth control. By altering the body’s hormones to prevent the release of an egg every month, hormonal birth control – such as the pill, the patch or the hormone IUD – also prevents the inflammation of uterine cells due to menstruation, stopping pain and, in most cases, shrinking or clearing away the unwanted patches of endometriosis. A doctor will sometimes recommend surgery, especially if endometriosis is causing infertility. This operation involves a small cut in the abdomen through which a surgeon can use a laparoscope to heat and destroy patches of endometriosis.

In China, some patients also turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine for endometriosis treatment. Believing that endometriosis can be caused by stagnating blood flow, a Chinese Medicine practitioner will recommend a remedy to improve the flow of qi, or energy. This remedy could involve acupuncture, an appropriate herbal tincture or dietary intervention.

Is it covered by insurance?

Many insurance plans do cover diagnostic services and treatment for endometriosis, but some plans require a woman to hold coverage for at least one year before the insurer will cover any gynecological care. Other plans may refer to endometriosis as a pre-existing condition – even if the patient purchased insurance before being diagnosed.

At Pacific Prime, we think that the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis – from laparoscopy to hormonal therapy to surgery – are important patient health services. To keep our policy holders healthy and happy we provide insurance plans that don’t exclude endometriosis as a pre-existing condition. Our insurance partners provide comprehensive coverage for patients experiencing endometriosis – without exclusions from a pre-existing conditions clause that could lead a patient to go without diagnosis or treatment.

For more information on health insurance plans that cover endometriosis, as well as answers to all your other questions regarding health insurance in China, please contact the helpful agents at Pacific Prime. They are standing by to provide you with information and free quotes that compare medical insurance plans from the world’s best insurers.

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