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Endocare in the press

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GUARDIAN: THE HIDDEN SUFFERING OF MILLIONS OF WOMEN REVEALED

"We need very large numbers of cases and controls, larger than we or any other centre could collect alone." says Krina Zondervan, professor of reproductive and genomic epidemiology.

The hidden toll and extraordinary neglect of a disease that affects an estimated 176 million women around the globe, causing many to suffer a life of pain and debilitation and sometimes infertility, is revealed by the Guardian.

One woman in 10 of reproductive age has endometriosis, it is estimated, and yet often their primary care doctors do not know what it is and the specialists to whom they are sent are ill-informed.

Vast numbers of women are under-treated or badly treated. It can take years to get a diagnosis and during that time women may suffer severe pain and are unable to work, socialise or maintain a sexual relationship. 

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BBC FUTURE: WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?

"We have good evidence that having serious pain alters your central nervous system, alters how you respond to pain in the future and makes you potentially more susceptible to other chronic pain conditions" says Katy Vincent, a senior pain fellow at the University of Oxford.

For women who are symptomatic, and many are not, the primary symptom is usually acute pelvic pain with no obvious physical cause. That may make it enigmatic. But that it was a health condition experienced only by women – and is linked to menstruation, in particular – has made it more of an enigma than it perhaps could be. 

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NATURE GENETICS: NEW GENES LINKED TO ENDOMETRIOSIS

"We've known for some time that endometriosis is heritable, but until now we have been unable to find any robust genetic variants that influence a woman's risk of developing the disease," says Krina Zondervan, professor of reproductive and genomic epidemiology.

Women with one of two genetic variants may be more likely to develop endometriosis, according to a new study that may offer new clues about the cause of the mysterious condition.

Researchers say it's the first study to show a genetic link to the disorder that affects between 6% and 10% of women of childbearing age.

Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of cells similar to those found inside the uterus on other areas of the body, such as the ovaries and bowel. The growths can lead to inflammation, pelvic pain, painful menstrual periods, and infertility in some women. 

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DR KATY VINCENT ON BBC WOMEN'S HOUR

Dr Katy Vincent joins Jane Garvey on BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour to discuss the new University of Oxford study, the first of its kind, looking at the link between chronic pain and hormones that control the menstrual cycle and reproductive function.

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