Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue similar to the endometrium, which normally grows inside the uterus, grows outside the uterus instead. Although the exact number of women affected by endometriosis is not known, current estimates suggest that 176 million women worldwide may be affected by the condition.
Treatment approaches for endometriosis often rely on a combination of evidence-based and experience-based (“unsubstantiated” by systematic data and research) approaches. As a result, women with endometriosis may find only temporary or no relief from the pain and infertility that are hallmarks of the disease.
Recently, the World Endometriosis Society (WES) Montpellier Consortium—an international group of 56 individuals representing women with endometriosis and representatives from 34 medical and non-medical organizations, including the NICHD—published the first-ever worldwide consensus statement on the management of endometriosis. The statement addresses 69 issues related to the management of endometriosis and the resulting paper was published in the journal, Human Reproduction. Visit http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23528916 to access the full statement.
“We believe that this consensus statement will focus world attention on endometriosis,” said Professor Linda Giudice, Vice President of the WES, current President of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and a long-time NICHD grantee. “[This] debilitating disease is in need of improved diagnostics and management approaches for all who are afflicted and as well as their families.”
“It was a privilege to have the opportunity to share ideas with so many committed individuals in the consortium,” said Lone Hummelshoj, Secretary General of the WES, co-author of the WES Consensus, and an international advocate for women who, like her, have endometriosis. “The passion, enthusiasm, and wisdom of those involved were key ingredients of this ‘concentrate’ of recommendations.”
To learn more about the WES Montpellier Consortium’s work and about NICHD research on endometriosis, select a link below:
Details on the WES Montpellier Consortium Consensus StatementNICHD Research on EndometriosisMore Information
The WES Montpellier Consortium rated the evidence for each recommendation as either strong or weak and assigned each item a grade, based on the number of representatives who supported it.
The WES Consensus statement is important for a number of reasons. The WES Consensus is the first to incorporate the viewpoints of those most involved—women who have endometriosis, patients’ societies, clinicians, surgeons, scientists, and representatives from pharmaceutical companies—from five continents. In addition, WES Montpellier Consortium members based the statement on a thorough review of the medical literature and included conclusions based firmly on scientific evidence, with a clear acknowledgment of areas where evidence is lacking, as well as clinical experience. The WES Consensus also emphasizes that women with endometriosis require long-term treatment and that their symptoms, lifestyle, and fertility wishes can change over time. The WES Consensus represents the first time that endometriosis and pelvic pain have been treated as part of the same disease continuum.
The WES Consensus covers all aspects of endometriosis management and treatment, including endometriosis and ovarian cancer, lifestyle and dietary interventions, and complementary therapies for endometriosis symptoms. Some highlights follow:
Moving forward, the WES will continue to review available evidence and update the WES Montpellier Consensus Statement as research provides new information about treating and managing endometriosis. This activity will also help to identify possible future research directions and topics.
Understanding endometriosis is an active area of research for the NICHD. For instance:
For a more detailed description of the Institute’s research on endometriosis, visit the Endometriosis: Research Activities and Scientific Advances page.
The NICHD is hopeful that the WES Montpellier Consensus Statement will help women throughout the world who have endometriosis get the best and most comprehensive care possible.
For more information on endometriosis, select one of the following links:
Originally Posted: April 10, 2013
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