A GP guide to endometriosis management

A variety of medical and surgical options are available for an individualised and tailored approach to managing this enigmatic disease

Need to know:

  • Endometriosis affects up to 10% of women of reproductive age.
  • Diagnosis is typically delayed by 7-9 years after symptom onset.
  • Consider the diagnosis in any woman with debilitating menstrual, sexual or ovulation pain; pelvic organ symptoms during menses; or unexplained infertility.
  • Deep infiltrative endometriosis ultrasound, performed by experienced practitioners, can facilitate diagnosis.
  • Laparoscopy remains the gold standard for diagnosis and treatment, and improves pain and fertility outcomes.
  • Medical management takes a stepwise approach, from simple analgesia to menstrual suppression tailored to symptom response, side-effect profile and contraindications.
  • Options for women seeking symptom management and fertility are limited and must be the focus of future research in the field.

Endometriosis affects up to one in 10 women of reproductive age and may