March 26, 2013
Global Consensus On The Management Of Endometriosis Published Today
Lone Hummelshoj, World Endometriosis Society
56 representatives of 34 global organizations have come together to reach consensus on the management of endometriosis -- a disease which affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide
Consensus participants unanimously agreed on the current management of endometriosis and called for more research to reduce the high impact of quality of life in a disease where research priorities are low.
Said consensus co-convener, Neil Johnson MD:
“Evidence based medicine is the skill — perhaps even the art — of being able to integrate the best available scientific evidence and to apply it to each patient´s individual situation. The World Endometriosis Society consensus on current management of endometriosis is a unique collaboration between clinicians of all disciplines involved in treating women endometriosis along with representatives of women suffering from the disease that has sought to achieve this integration.
What we have achieved is more than ℠recommendations´ or ℠a guideline´; it is a concentrate of immense clinical experience, research efforts, and cooperation together with women with endometriosis”.
These words were echoed by WES President, Paolo Vercellini MD, who emphasized that whereas several guidelines are available on the management of endometriosis, the unique flavor of the WES Consensus is that, for the first time, 16 patients' societies were included as active participants in the process, thus putting the woman with endometriosis at the center of global care perspectives.
“Women are willing to achieve results that are important for them. The fundamental aim of gynecologists treating endometriosis must be the definition of personalized, long-term, treatment strategies that take into consideration the individual woman´s point of view, as well as her priority for different outcomes. Women may have varying degrees of acceptance towards surgical risks or side effects of drugs, and may chose diverse therapeutic options when facing the same clinical problem. The WES Consensus, developed by keeping the woman with endometriosis in constant focus, will aid physicians in counseling correctly their patients and informing them not only about consistent evidence, but also about areas of conflicting findings.
WES has developed a practice reference for the real world from an authoritative international research community”, said Dr Vercellini.
Professor Linda Giudice, Vice President of WES, emphasized that the unique dedication of the attendees and the organizers resulted in conclusions that were based firmly on scientific evidence with a clear acknowledgment of areas where evidence is lacking.
“This is a credit to the rigor with which this endeavor was undertaken with the long-term goal of improving the wellbeing of millions of women and teens afflicted with this disease worldwide. We believe that this consensus statement will focus world attention on endometriosis, a debilitating disease that is in need of improved diagnostics and management approaches for all who are afflicted and as well as their families”, said Professor Giudice.
As a co-convener, and a woman with endometriosis, Lone Hummelshoj said that:
“It was a privilege to have the opportunity to share ideas with so many committed individuals in the consortium: the passion, enthusiasm and wisdom of those involved was a key ingredient of this ℠concentrate´ of recommendations. To have a dialogue amongst all stakeholders in this horrible disease is an amazing step towards progress in global collaboration not only in treatment, but also in basic research, to move our field forward so that the next generation of women with endometriosis doesn´t have to suffer as previous generations have”.
1. Endometriosis affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide during their reproductive years. It is occurs when tissue similar to the lining inside the uterus (called “the endometrium”), is found outside the uterus, where it induces a chronic inflammatory reaction that may result in scar tissue. Symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods, painful ovulation, pain during or after sexual intercourse, abnormal bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, fatigue, and infertility, and can impact on general physical, mental, and social well being.
2. Neil P Johnson and Lone Hummelshoj for the World Endometriosis Society Montpellier Consortium. Consensus on current management of endometriosis. Human Reproduction 2013 Epub doi: 10.1093/humrep/det050