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Researchers welcome new guidance on endometriosis

New NICE guidelines on the diagnosis and management of endometriosis have been welcomed by researchers at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Today (6 September) the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued national guidance on the painful condition, which is thought to affect one in 10 women in the UK.

endometriosis-information

It is the first time NICE has offered official guidance on the condition. The advice addresses signs, symptoms and best practice for referrals and treatment.

Delays in diagnosis are common, with the average time taken to diagnose endometriosis being 7.5 years. Women may experience a range of symptoms including debilitating pelvic pain, pain during sex, tiredness, and problems with fertility and it can have a significant impact upon quality of life.  

It is hoped that the guidelines will speed up the time taken to give a diagnosis and by doing so, give women access to treatments earlier.

DMU is home to the Centre for Reproduction Research, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to issues and challenges relating to human reproduction. 

Professor Nicky Hudson, Director of the Centre, said: ““The Centre welcomes this new guideline to direct health services to offer high quality, appropriate and evidence-based care to women with this chronic gynaecological condition. 

“As NICE makes clear, delay in the diagnosis of endometriosis is a significant problem, and we hope this guideline will go some way to addressing this issue and ensuring women can receive diagnoses and appropriate treatment in a timely manner. 

“In particular we are pleased to see a consideration of the significant impact that endometriosis can have on quality of life, on women’s psychosocial wellbeing, and on partners and on relationships. 

“We are also pleased to see an acknowledgement of the possibility of cultural differences in the experience of endometriosis. 

“We believe that if implemented, this guideline will support healthcare services to offer care that is tailored to women’s personal circumstances, and addresses the complex emotional, sexual and relational impact of this condition.”

Earlier this month, the Centre for Reproduction Research and leading UK charity Endometriosis UK launched a new web page which aimed to address a lack of online support for women and their partners about how endometriosis affects relationships and  how to cope as a couple:  https://www.endometriosis-uk.org/endometriosis-and-couples

The Centre includes sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, academics from the field of science and technology studies, nurses, midwives and health policy experts. Areas of  research include endometriosis, egg freezing, egg donation, gay and lesbian parenthood, surrogacy and assisted conception.  

Posted on Wednesday 6th September 2017

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