Australian First: Essential help for women with endometriosis


Women with endometriosis will now have better access to information and support with new resources from one of Australia’s leading not-for-profit health organisations for women.

Jean Hailes for Women’s Health has released four new resources that will help women and health professionals recognise, diagnose and manage one of women’s most common but widely misunderstood medical conditions.

Launched on November 17, 2016  by Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy, these resources were made possible by a grant of $100,000 from the Victorian Government.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition that affects a woman’s reproductive organs. It happens when the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside it. Cells respond to menstrual cycle hormones and cause bleeding at the same time as the menstrual period.

Women with endo, as it’s often called, can have painful and heavy periods, chronic pain, painful sex and issues with fertility. As the symptoms can be broad and difficult to pinpoint, diagnosis can sometimes take more than six years.

In Victoria alone, around 200,000 women have endometriosis. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health’s medical director and gynaecologist, Dr Elizabeth Farrell, says many women may put up with painful periods without realising they have endometriosis. “Painful periods are not normal,” says Dr Farrell. “Yet teenagers and women might suffer in silence for years. This delay can mean their symptoms get worse over time, with major impacts on their quality of life.”

The four resources, available in print and online, are:

– a pre-diagnosis brochure for younger women, ”˜My period: What’s normal?’

– a simple one-page ”˜Pain & symptom diary’ that women can use to record their cycles, making it easier to show doctors their symptoms and concerns

– a post-diagnosis brochure for women, ”˜Understanding endometriosis’

– a tool for health professionals to assist in the assessment, investigation and management of endometriosis

A new Jean Hailes video has also been launched online today, ”˜Back to Basics: Endometriosis’, which gives women a simple understanding of the symptoms and available treatments.

“These resources are an important tool in giving women and their health professionals better signposts towards early diagnosis and appropriate management of this all-too-often debilitating condition,” says Jean Hailes for Women’s Health Executive Director Janet Michelmore AO.

“These educational resources will deliver better health outcomes for the women with endometriosis through early diagnosis, treatment and management of the condition that can cause infertility,” says Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.

The resources and video are available for free from Jean Hailes for Women’s Health at

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