Endometriosis is a common condition affecting about 10% of all women, mostly during their reproductive years. It occurs when tissue resembling endometrium (the lining of the womb) starts to grow outside the womb. Endometriosis is mainly found in the pelvis where it can affect the ovaries, bowel and bladder. Women commonly suffer from symptoms such as painful periods, abdominal pain, painful intercourse and infertility. Having a laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) is the only way to diagnose the condition.
The Oxford Endometriosis CaRe Centre was established in 2013 as a partnership between the University of Oxford and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Its aims are to combine high-quality patient care with world-class research. In 2014, the centre was accredited by the British Society of Gynaecological Endoscopy (BSGE).
“We are delighted that the BSGE has recognized the hard work and commitment of all members of the Oxford CaRe Centre. Endometriosis is a complex disease with often devastating consequences for women and their partners, and should be managed in centres with the necessary expertise,” says Professor Christian Becker, the Clinical Lead and Co-Director of Endometriosis CaRe.
“Although endometriosis affects millions of women around the world, relatively little is know about its cause. In Oxford, however, we are making great progress because of the close working relationships we have developed with clinical colleagues and the tremendous help we receive from patients”, says Professor Krina Zondervan, the Scientific Director and Co-Director of Endometriosis CaRe who leads a major research program into the genetics of the condition.
“The Endometriosis CaRe Centre is a wonderful example of a highly successful collaboration between the University and the Trust”, says Professor Stephen Kennedy, Head of the University’s Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Divisional Director for Women’s and Children’s Services in the Trust. “The innovative research being conducted in the largest Endometriosis Centre in the country will improve our understanding of the condition and eventually transform the lives of millions of women.”
The Endometriosis CaRe Centre fully supports the recently established Oxford Endometriosis Support Group, which holds monthly evening group meetings in the Anne Anderson Lecture Theatre (Level 3, Women’s Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital). Interested women, their partners, families and friends are encouraged to make contact through email: OxfordGroup@endometriosis-uk.org or via Twitter: @EndoUK_Oxford / Oxford Endometriosis UK Support Group.
Endometriosis Awareness Week is happening 3rd - 9th March and to help mark this special week, a French documentary on Endometriosis, which includes contributions by Professor Krina Zondervan, is being broadcast on the 8th of March. French speakers with access to "French 5" can see it at 3.10pm. More information, and pictures, can be found on their facebook page.
You can also join the Worldwide EndoMarch UK on Saturday 19th March in central London. For the third year running, women and their supporters across the globe will be taking part in a peaceful march about the plight of those who suffer from endometriosis, highlighting the need for faster diagnosis, greater education and more funds for research into better treatments and an eventual cure. Register here