Australian women with confirmed or suspected endometriosis can expect better diagnosis and treatment, following today’s release of new national clinical practice guidelines.
The Morrison Government commissioned the development of the guidelines in line with our National Action Plan for Endometriosis, launched in 2018. The Action Plan was the first of its kind and aims to improve the lives of women living with this debilitating condition.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Greg Hunt MP said, “The new Australian Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis and Management of Endometriosis will provide up to date, evidence-based guidance to support the highest quality care in a variety of Australian healthcare settings.”
“Improvements in clinical care and research is the third priority area identified in the Action Plan and these guidelines will assist in addressing this goal,” Minister Hunt said.
Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition, which can be devastating for some sufferers but is often undiagnosed, although it affects one in nine women and girls. It involves cells similar to the endometrium (uterus) growing in other locations, usually in the pelvis but sometimes in other tissue and organs.
As well as endometriosis, it provides guidance on diagnosis and treatment of adenomyosis- a related condition that can occur on its own or in conjunction with endometriosis, and is often overlooked.
Federal Member for Forrest, the Hon Nola Marino MP said, “The guidelines will assist healthcare professionals, as well as for people with endometriosis or adenomyosis, their families, carers and the public.”
“It will promote consistency of care, and improve the experience of women with these conditions,” Ms Marino said.
Federal Member for Boothby, Nicolle Flint MP said, “Despite endometriosis affecting an estimated 700,000 Australian girls and women, the timeframe from the onset of symptoms to diagnosis can be between 7 and 12 years.”
“These guidelines will assist clinicians in diagnosing the condition earlier and to help provide the highest level of care to sufferers,” Ms Flint said.
The guideline was developed by the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, with assistance from a working group including a range of healthcare professionals, patients and carers.
Since the launch of the National Action Plan, the Morrison Government has committed $21.13 million to improve awareness, clinical management, care and research into endometriosis.
This includes $5 million announced in the 2021-22 Budget for the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia to continue and expand its successful Periods, Pain and Endometriosis Program (PPEP-Talk) in Australian schools.