Paid Leave Program Can Help Women With Endometriosis

January 10, 2024

In a recent opinion piece, Rep. Jillian Gilchrest of West Hartford encouraged women suffering from endometriosis to consider utilizing Connecticut's Paid Leave program.

Rep. Gilchrest, who chairs the Connecticut Endometriosis Working Group, explains that the symptoms, pain and the need for treatment from the disease can prevent women from working for periods of time.

"For those living with endometriosis (a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus) — 11% of American women between ages 15-44 according to the Office on Women’s Health — debilitating menstrual cramps, chronic pain in the lower back and pelvis, intestinal pain, and painful bowel movements or pain when urinating are common symptoms of the disease. For many individuals with endometriosis, this excruciating pain interferes with their ability to work," she wrote.


Rep. Gilchrest says the Connecticut Paid Leave program is an important tool for women to use to help limit the loss of income and hardship on their families as a result of time away from a job.

"That’s where the Connecticut Paid Leave program steps in. As our Working Group was discussing how to support Connecticut workers living with endometriosis, one of our group members shared that she is able to support her patients by advising them to apply for Connecticut Paid Leave benefits," wrote Gilchrest.

"As we continue to work to address the many problems associated with endometriosis, we can offer those living with the disease financial relief and peace of mind. Connecticut Paid Leave provides people with income replacement benefits when they need to take time away from work to deal with their symptoms, medical appointments, recovery from surgeries, or the side effects of medication. It also offers those living with endometriosis the ability to present their employers with documentation about their disease, legitimizing their need to miss work."

You can read Rep. Gilchrest's full op-ed in CT Mirror here.