The end of Endo?

Queensland is leading the fight against Endometriosis.

If you know 10 women, there’s a good chance at least one of them has endometriosis.

More than 200,000 Queensland women are impacted by the chronic disease, which occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows in other parts of the body creating rigid scar tissue that impedes the function of organs, causing debilitating pain and, in some cases, infertility.

The University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Professor Grant Montgomery led a worldwide genetic research study – the largest ever completed – into the causes of the debilitating disease.

“We still don’t know a lot about the causes of endometriosis, but we do know that half of all risk factors for developing the disease are genetic,” Professor Montgomery said.

“We’re working to identify the genes that increase a woman’s risk of developing endometriosis so we can understand how they work and how they contribute to causing the disease.”

Endometriosis Association Queensland (QENDO) President Jessica Taylor said Professor Montgomery’s research could lead to improved diagnosis for Queensland women.

“The average time to reach a diagnosis is currently seven to 10 years, so a screening tool including DNA could lead to a quicker and less invasive diagnosis which is a better outcome for women,” Ms Taylor said.

Ms Taylor said the delay in diagnosis is largely due to limited information about endometriosis among both women and medical practitioners.

“A lot of women with undiagnosed endo are told the pain they’re going through is just part of being a woman,” she said.

“We see women who are in so much pain that they’re curled up on the floor almost every day and are unable to work or study, but they think that their pain is normal.

“Queenslanders have the biggest support network for endo in Australia and QENDO is running activities each week to support and educate women and their families.”

Professor Montgomery is confident that continued research will lead to more effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment for Queensland women.

“Although there is still a long road ahead, it’s a really good time to be doing research in this field and, with the advances in genomics and the progress we’ve made in the past 18 months, we’re able to begin addressing questions that were previously unanswerable,” he said.

“Ultimately, we’re trying to help women lead normal lives.”

Visit QENDO for more information about endometriosis.

Here more from Jessica Taylor below.

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