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RCOG statement on Endometriosis Awareness Week

News 3 March 2014

This week marks Endometriosis Awareness Week (3–9 March 2014), promoting a greater awareness and understanding of endometriosis.

Currently more than 1.5 million women in the UK suffer from endometriosis, a long-term condition that causes painful or heavy periods. It can also cause pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis or lower back, as well as fertility problems.

Endometriosis can be a difficult condition to diagnose as the symptoms can vary considerably and there are many other conditions that can cause similar symptoms such as fibroids or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Endometriosis UK, a national charity supporting women living with the condition, has launched the campaign, ‘It’s ok to talk. Period.’ encouraging women to discuss their symptoms and therefore enabling a quicker diagnosis.

Professor Alan Cameron, RCOG Vice President for Clinical Quality said:

“Endometriosis is a very common condition but it can also be chronic, debilitating and can affect many aspects of a woman’s life including her general physical health, emotional wellbeing, relationships, fertility and daily routine.

“Unfortunately there is no simple non-invasive test for endometriosis and no one symptom or set of symptoms can definitely confirm the condition, therefore it can sometimes take several years to reach a conclusive diagnosis via laparoscopy.

“It is crucial that women experiencing period pain that lasts for more than 2–3 days, that affects your everyday activities or that cannot be controlled by normal over-the-counter pain medication, should visit their GP to speed up the diagnosis process and enable women, alongside the help and advice of healthcare professionals, to decide on the best treatment options.”


For further information, please contact the RCOG Media and PR team on +44 20 7772 6300 or email

For further information, please read the RCOG Patient Information on Endometriosis and the RCOG Green-top Guideline Endometriosis, Investigation and Management, or visit the Endometriosis UK website.


The RCOG is proud to support the first annual Million Woman March for Endometriosis 2014 and we encourage our members and their patients to participate. The march will take place on Thursday 13 March 2014 at the National Mall, Washington DC, USA, as well as other capital cities around the world (including London). Visit for more information.