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Endo Action Plan: a step forward for women

Media releases 18 Jul 2018
Woman with hot water bottle lying down

Jean Hailes for Women's Health is pleased to support the launch of the Federal Government's National Action Plan for Endometriosis.

The plan, announced yesterday by the Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt MP, is designed to increase awareness and understanding of endometriosis and improve the length of time to diagnosis and treatment options.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition that affects a women's reproductive organs. It happens when cells similar to those that line the uterus are found in other parts of the body. Cells respond to menstrual cycle hormones and cause bleeding at the same time as the menstrual period. Symptoms such as heavy or painful periods, fertility issues and chronic pain can be so broad that it may take years to diagnose.

Janet Michelmore AO, director of Jean Hailes for Women's Health, will be part of an official group overseeing the implementation of the plan over the next five years.

"The National Action Plan for Endometriosis was made possible through the power of collaboration—so many influential stakeholders have come together to recommend the best way forward in the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis," says Ms Michelmore.

"This is great news for health professionals who are at the frontline of recognising and treating the condition, for women with endo, their families and their communities. This action plan is a step towards helping women with endometriosis lead a better quality of life—and that is something that benefits all of Australia."

Jean Hailes has long been a champion for increasing awareness of endo. In 2016, the organisation released a series of free endo resources: a pre-diagnosis brochure for young women called "My period – What's normal?"; a post-diagnosis booklet for women, "Understanding endometriosis" and a tool for health professionals to assist in the assessment, investigation and management of the condition. Jean Hailes also offers a simple one-page "Period pain & symptom diary" that women can use to record their cycles.

These resources and a host of other trusted material reviewed by Jean Hailes clinicians are found on our website here.