College welcomes greater awareness and research for endometriosis

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, responds to the latest research by Endometriosis UK on diagnosis times. Professor Hawthorne said:

“GPs understand how hard living with endometriosis can be, and how frustrating it is to have to wait to get answers. Unfortunately, definitive diagnosis of endometriosis requires a surgical procedure which is necessary for some women, but not all. Initially, it is key for GPs to recognise the cyclical pattern of painful periods, and provide treatment to prevent excessive bleeding and manage pain.

“Because of the significant variation in the severity of symptoms that women with endometriosis experience, and because many of these are similar to those of other conditions, the condition can be very hard to detect. This is why greater awareness, as well as more research into treatment and management options, should always be encouraged. It’s never easy to hear when patients report feeling dismissed or ignored by healthcare professionals when going through the diagnostic process, and clearly more needs to be done to address this and ensure everyone is getting the most appropriate care for them.

“Women’s health, including endometriosis, is a key part of the RCGP curriculum which all GPs must demonstrate competence of in order to practise independently in the UK. Following this, GPs will undertake continued professional development throughout their career to cover the full breadth of the curriculum. To this end, the College has worked with partners, including Endometriosis UK, to develop educational resources for GPs on women's health, including our popular Women’s Health Online Library. We will continue to develop these and more to support GPs and other healthcare professionals deliver the best possible care for women, based on the latest evidence.”

Further information

RCGP press office: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editors

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.