The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published its first guideline to speed up the diagnosis and treatment of women with endometriosis.
Commenting in response, Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said:
“Endometriosis is a very common, long-term condition which affects between two and 10 women out of 100, however, it is very difficult to diagnose as symptoms can vary considerably between women. It can also be confused with other conditions that cause similar symptoms such as fibroids, irritable bowel syndrome and pelvic inflammatory disease. Unfortunately, there is no simple, non-invasive test for endometriosis and the exact cause of the condition is unknown. While there is no cure, there are many treatment options available to help ease the symptoms.
“As investigations can be lengthy, it takes many women up to 7.5 years to receive a confirmed diagnosis of endometriosis, and the RCOG welcomes measures to speed up this process. The condition can be very difficult to deal with, both physically and emotionally, and delayed diagnosis can lead to unnecessary pain and suffering.
“The new NICE guideline will help healthcare practitioners to diagnose endometriosis by highlighting the symptoms and standardising treatment across the UK. It will also work to raise awareness of the condition and the significant impact it can have on women’s lives.”
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An RCOG patient information leaflet on endometriosis was published in 2016.
About the RCOG
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare in the UK and beyond. It is dedicated to encouraging the study and advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. It does this through postgraduate medical education and training and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision.