#DontLiveWithPain Campaign Aims to Tackle Endometriosis Burden

In the lead up to Endometriosis Awareness Month, Bayer, together with clinical experts across the region, has unveiled a new consensus guideline, “Clinical Diagnosis and Early Medical Management for Endometriosis: Consensus for Asia”. The first-of-its-kind consensus aims to help healthcare professionals navigate clinical diagnosis and early medical therapy for the treatment of endometriosis to deliver the best patient outcomes.

The consensus aligns with the latest 2022 guidelines published by European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), which details the best practices of caring for women with endometriosis. Both works emphasise the importance of non-invasive procedures in early diagnosis and treatment to allow for patient-centred care. For instance, symptom recognition is recommended before utilising laparoscopy for diagnosis, and medical treatments are recommended for the management of pain post-surgery.[1]

“With up to 10% of women of reproductive age worldwide affected by endometriosis,[2] it continues to pose a serious burden globally and in our region. As such, we’re excited to see the outcomes of the Asia Consensus guidelines which allow us to help healthcare professionals tackle the endometriosis burden by improving diagnosis and treatment standards of the condition in Asia, enabling them to create the best outcomes for their patients,” said Catherine Donovan, Vice President Head of Medical Affairs Asia-Pacific, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Asia-Pacific.

Besides imposing a negative burden on Asia’s economy due to the high costs of medical and surgical treatment, endometriosis also causes ripple effects on a women’s personal health and overall livelihood as they battle with the condition. This hinders their ability to find normalcy in their social and work life, and it takes a serious toll on their physical and mental health.

Aside from these impacts, the endometriosis burden in Asia is also driven by a delay in women seeking early diagnosis and treatment due to different misconceptions. For instance, women may dismiss pelvic pain as part and parcel of their menstrual cycle, while others believe that endometriosis will cause infertility.[3]Due to the information gap associated with this condition, Bayer aims to address these concerns and encourage women to seek the treatment they need early. Against this backdrop, Bayer spearheaded the #DontLiveWithPain campaign to encourage women to seek intervention and treatment early, instead of suffering the debilitating pain in silence with the misconception that it is normal.

Themed “Don’t Live With Pain. Period.”, the #DontLiveWithPain campaign is an initiative championed by Bayer to create awareness, educate and help modern day women understand what endometriosis is, and how they can manage the condition. It sheds light on the debilitating impact endometriosis has on women’s social and personal lives, addresses the misconceptions that women may have about the condition, and highlights the common symptoms that women can look out for to assess if they are at risk of endometriosis. The campaign will be carried out through a synergy of strategic communication channels to reach women and ensure that they are equipped with the right resources and support to battle endometriosis.

While the consensus is useful in guiding healthcare providers to recommend patient-centric treatment options, there is also a need for us to leverage the right platforms to educate women on endometriosis, empowering them to voice out their pain and seek treatment early by making informed decisions about their condition. These efforts are testament to our long-standing commitment to support our healthcare providers and patients, and ultimately improve women’s health,”

– Catherine Donovan, Vice President Head of Medical Affairs Asia-Pacific, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Asia-Pacific.

Mee-ran Kim, Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Korea Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital also the Chair of the APAC Consensus, shared, “Given the endometriosis burden in Asia, we are delighted to work with Bayer to launch this consensus guideline to help improve clinical diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis for women. We believe that this is a pivotal step ahead for us in supporting healthcare providers in Asia to deliver the best outcomes for their patients, ensuring that they are able to seek the treatment they need early to live healthy, normal lives.”

The Consensus Guideline

The consensus serves as a summation of deliberations by clinicians with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis, where they convened in 2019 to critically evaluate evidence, international guidelines and consensus reports around the clinical diagnosis and early medical management of endometriosis in Asia.

Besides proposing an algorithm that utilises both clinical diagnosis and early medical therapy which will require further evaluation to assess its effectiveness in diagnosis and patient outcomes, the work also provides guidance on clinical diagnosis and early empiric treatment. Similar to ESHRE’s 2022 guidelines, the consensus suggests that laparoscopy is no longer considered the diagnostic gold standard. Instead, it proposes focusing on patient history and clinical examination to decrease diagnostic delay, especially in low resource settings.[4]

For treatment, the consensus recommends hormonal treatment for patients with no immediate pregnancy desires and emphasises that these treatments should be individually tailored by considering women’s presentation and therapeutic need. Medical treatment such as the use of GnRHa and progestin are also recommended for early treatment, and management of pain post-surgery.[5]

For more information on endometriosis, please visit https://www.bayer.com/en/pharma/endometriosis


References:

[1] Ibid.

[2] World Health Organization (WHO), Endometriosis, 2021, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/endometriosis#:~:text=Endometriosis%20affects%20roughly%2010%25%20(190,and%20girls%20globally%20(2).

[3] Healthway Medical, Questions and Misconceptions about Endometriosis, 2021, https://healthwaymedical.com/questions-and-misconceptions-about-endometriosis/

[4] Kim Mee-Ran et al., International SEUD congress 2021: Poster Presentation Summary Clinical Diagnosis and Early Medical Management for Endometriosis: Consensus for Asia, 2021

[5] Ibid.

Images: Envato

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