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Endometriosis and Insurance in Hong Kong: A Pre-Existing Condition?

Much like the rest of the world, a significant amount of women in Hong Kong suffer from endometriosis. This can cause problems for them on a regular basis. Find out more here, as Pacific Prime provides background on the ailment, as well as how you can protect yourself from it.

Posted on Jun 08, 2015 by Travis Jones

What is it?

In 2012, Hong Kong’s Women's Health Alliance, along with the University of Hong Kong's Public Opinion Programme, asked over 500 women about their monthly menstruation experiences. That survey found that 83 percent of those women experienced some discomfort every month, and that most did not seek medical attention – but perhaps they didn’t know that at least 10 percent of women around the world suffer from endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a condition wherein the cells lining the uterus migrate to the fallopian tubes, the outer part of the uterus or other places in the pelvis. Endometriosis can cause pain, spotting, irregular periods, chronic fatigue and infertility.  Unfortunately, most women – like those surveyed in Hong Kong – don’t go to the doctor until the pain is unbearable or fertility troubles arise. Since migrating uterine cells can scar the fallopian tubes or other areas of the reproductive system, severe cases of endometriosis can prevent an egg from properly implanting in the uterus.

Endometriosis diagnoses and treatment

In some ways, endometriosis is tricky to diagnose. Its symptoms are present in a number of other conditions – including ovarian cysts, irritable bowel syndrome, or the general pain and discomfort that often accompany menstruation. The only sure way to diagnose endometriosis is with a laparoscopic examination in which a doctor will insert a small, surgical viewing tool through an incision in the abdomen. The laparoscope can provide images of the reproductive system, and will show any areas of endometriosis. Ultrasound imaging can also be used to check for endometriosis, but both of these methods will only be recommended if a gynecologist is reasonably concerned that the patient is experiencing endometriosis.

Once the condition has been positively diagnosed, there are a few treatment options. Women not experiencing severe discomfort may choose to control their endometriosis symptoms with a prescription or over-the-counter painkiller. Hormone therapy is another popular option – hormonal birth control such as the pill, a hormonal IUD or the patch can be used to prevent monthly ovulation and stop endometriosis and the pain it causes. In particularly tough cases, especially in which infertility is a problem, a woman may choose laparoscopic surgery to clear out patches of endometriosis. This surgery is intensive and involves general anesthesia, but the good news is that this type of operation can often prevent and even reverse endometriosis-related infertility.

Is it covered by insurance?

Many insurance policies do cover diagnosis and treatment for endometriosis. However, some insurance plans require that the policy-holder has spent at least one year paying insurance premiums before any gynecological procedure can be covered. Other insurance plans may consider endometriosis to be a pre-existing condition, even if a diagnosis didn’t occur until after purchase of the coverage.

Pacific Prime operates under the policy that diagnosis and treatment for endometriosis are essential health care services. We work with insurance partners who don’t exclude endometriosis coverage under a pre-existing clause, to make sure our customers can access the medical care they need.

To learn more about health insurance that covers endometriosis, contact Pacific Prime today. Our experts are standing by to answer all of your questions and provide you with plan comparisons and free quotes for a full array of insurance plans from the world’s top insurers.

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