Assessing research gaps and unmet needs in endometriosis

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Aug;221(2):86-94. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2019.02.033. Epub 2019 Feb 18.


Endometriosis, a systemic disease that is often painful and chronic, affects ∼10% of reproductive-age women. The disease can have a negative impact on a patient's physical and emotional well-being, quality of life, and productivity. Endometriosis also places significant economic and social burden on patients, their families, and society as a whole. Despite its high prevalence and cost, endometriosis remains underfunded and underresearched, greatly limiting our understanding of the disease and slowing much-needed innovation in diagnostic and treatment options. Due in part to the societal normalization of women's pain and stigma around menstrual issues, there is also a lack of disease awareness among patients, health care providers, and the public. The Society for Women's Health Research convened an interdisciplinary group of expert researchers, clinicians, and patients for a roundtable meeting to review the current state of the science on endometriosis and identify areas of need to improve a woman's diagnosis, treatment, and access to quality care. Comprehensive and interdisciplinary approaches to disease management and increased education and disease awareness for patients, health care providers, and the public are needed to remove stigma, increase timely and accurate diagnosis and treatment, and allow for new advancements.

Keywords: chronic pain; endometriosis; infertility; pelvic pain; stigma; women’s health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Contraceptive Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use
  • Delayed Diagnosis
  • Denervation
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Endometriosis / diagnosis*
  • Endometriosis / therapy
  • Estrogen Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Laparoscopy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pelvic Pain / etiology
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Progestins / therapeutic use
  • Social Stigma
  • Ultrasonography


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Biomarkers
  • Contraceptive Agents, Hormonal
  • Estrogen Antagonists
  • Progestins