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Recognising symptoms early could reduce impact of endometriosis

3 August 2012 - 11:58am
Written by: 
Suzanne Still

The impact of endometriosis on women could be reduced says Dr Kristen Black and Professor Ian Fraser of Sydney University and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, by recognising the symptoms of the disease early.

The researchers addressed the medical management of endometriosis, a condition that is the most common cause of chronic pelvic pain for women and affects women mostly in their reproductive years.

Putting together an article in the August edition of independent health publication Australian Prescriber, the authors said that delayed diagnosis of the disease - particularly in adolescents - is the biggest obstacle to getting good treatment.

There is a varied range of symptoms for endometriosis which includes irregular periods, tiredness, infertility and painful abdominal bloating.

These symptoms can sometimes be mistaken for those of diseases like pelvic inflammatory disease or irritable bowel syndrome.

"There are many treatment options for endometriosis. While painkillers are effective for some women, others will need hormonal treatments and sometimes surgery," write the authors.

"Over time as we gain a greater understanding of endometriosis new treatments will become available. The best approach involves both women and their doctors being aware of the disease and its possible symptoms."

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