Imagine a world without endometriosis



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Endometriosis is a chronic, debilitating disease that affects the health of 1 in 7 women and people with a uterus of reproductive age in Australia.

It is a condition where tissue similar to normal uterine lining grows and invades areas around the pelvis. Just like the lining of the uterus, this tissue bleeds each time the person has a period, causing inflammation and creating scar tissue that hinders the function of organs and reduces their mobility.

Endometriosis can cause serious pain and, in some cases, infertility. But diagnosing the disease can be a major challenge, because the severe pelvic pain can overlap with other conditions, and the only way to confirm the diagnosis is through surgery.

The average Australian with endometriosis waits 7 to 10 years for a diagnosis, seriously affecting the quality of life for people living with endometriosis.

Endometriosis sufferer Laura said that on her worst days, she can end up in so much pain she can't walk or stand up straight.

"It doesn't show up on a scan, it doesn't show up on a CT or an X-ray," she said.

"If there's a way to diagnose people without having to cut them open than I think it would enable more people to seek the help that they need."

The direct and indirect costs for the disease in Australia are estimated at between $7 and $9 billion every year, yet doctors currently lack the necessary tools to provide patients with a timely and accurate diagnosis.

Professor Grant Montgomery and Dr Sally Mortlock from IMB are using their expertise in genomics to learn more about the disease, and provide better outcomes for women like Laura.

"In our research so far, we have studied the genomes of 200,000 people, which has produced the most comprehensive data about endometriosis to date," Professor Montgomery said.

The researcher, who has been studying endometriosis for more than 30 years, said now is the time to really tackle the disease.

"Using the combination of big data and advances in computing technology, we have the tools we need and can bring them together in the right way to develop better diagnostics and treatments.

Dr Sally Mortlock said breaking down the complexity of endometriosis will transform knowledge about this silent epidemic and ensure the right therapies are chosen to relieve each person's symptoms.

"The more we understand about endometriosis, the more we can improve the lives of those who live with it, and their families, every day."


Discovering the genes involved in endometriosis is vitally important for our understanding and designing treatments. But it’s not the whole story. 
For the latest edition of UQ Mythbusters during Endometriosis Awareness Month, we put some of the most persistent myths about ‘endo’ to bed.

Tara Rimmer shares her experience with endometriosis



To listen to more stories like Tara's, and learn how IMB researchers are striving to improve the lives of people with chronic diseases, subscribe to our podcast, The Edge: Conversations.

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Watch women who are leaders in business, health and technology share reflections and advice on conquering challenges. The Woman Effect: Endurance celebrated International Womens Day in partnership with QENDO.




Endo content

How reducing inflammation is helping ease endo pain: diet, exercise and physio have become part of the ‘toolbox’ for managing endometriosis.
Endometriosis is like a giant jigsaw puzzle and IMB researchers are focused on finding and connecting the pieces to help affected women.
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, shining a light on this debilitating disease, affecting 1 in 9 women of reproductive age. IMB's Professor Grant Montgomery and Dr Sally Mortlock and their team are among those pioneering endometriosis research.
Endometriosis affects one in nine women of reproductive age, causing serious pain and, in some cases, infertility. It’s estimated to cost the Australian health system $7.7 billion annually. While endometriosis continues to ravage women’s reproductive organs, there is still much we don’t know about this disease and current treatment is only effective for some.

Watch Professor Montgomery discuss his research in the video below from our public lecture
EndoWhat? Unravelling the mystery behind endometriosis


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