Thursday, 4 September 2014

Study calls for further research into endometriosis to help alleviate women who suffer from the condition

SPHPM's Kate Young has had the first paper from her PhD published in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. The study looks at women's experiences of endometriosis and the effect it has on their lives.

According to the paper, endometriosis is experienced by approximately 10% of women worldwide and is associated with significant burden on the woman, her family, and society. The condition occurs when tissue similar to the endometrium, which normally lines the uterus, grows outside the uterus. This tissue implants in, and forms lesions on other organs including the ovaries, bowel, bladder and the Pouch of Douglas.

Common symptoms of endometriosis include painful menstruation, heavy menstrual bleeding, pain during intercourse, and infertility. There is little correlation between the physical extent of the disease and the severity of symptoms women report. Common treatment options include progestogens, ovulation induction and surgery, however these interventions can be associated with significant side effects and typically do not provide long-term relief.

The study found that endometriosis affects all areas of a women's life. It also identified gaps in the current evidence base and presented implications for current health care practice. Further research is needed to a gain a comprehensive understanding of endometriosis as experienced by diverse groups of women, therefore enabling the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions that may reduce the burden of this enigmatic condition.

Click here to read the full study.

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