Shining the light on ‘silent’ women’s health conditions

By Hudson Institute communications

Women’s health and endometriosis experts from across Australia and the world are gathering in Melbourne in October to share cutting-edge research and bring a ‘silent’ women’s health condition to the fore.

Women’s health and endometriosis experts from across Australia and the world are gathering in Melbourne in October to share cutting-edge research and bring a ‘silent’ women’s health condition to the fore.

Hudson Institute of Medical Research and its women’s and baby health hub, The Ritchie Centre, are hosting a free public forum ‘Endometriosis – Moving towards a pain-free future’ at the Melbourne Museum Theatre on Thursday, October 5.

The public forum complements a scientific colloquium (5-6 October), where scientists and experts will present the latest advances, trends and discoveries in endometriosis and women’s health research.

Professor Caroline Gargett, Head of the Endometrial Stem Cells Group at Hudson Institute/ The Ritchie Centre, says focus of the public forum is on sharing knowledge and expertise – particularly around endometriosis.

“Endometriosis is a ‘silent’ condition that can affect up to 1 in 10 women. The symptoms, including severe pelvic pain, can be debilitating and may affect all aspects of a woman’s life, from her physical and mental health to study and professional life, family and personal relationships,” Prof Gargett says.

The scientific program will feature a number of promising discoveries in endometriosis research, from advances in diagnostic imaging techniques, to characterisation of endometrial stem cells.

“Women with endometriosis are pushing for better outcomes for their condition. The forum and colloquium will help to inform more effective, non-invasive treatment, management and diagnosis of endometriosis through research and scientific discovery.”

Public forum

The public forum titled ‘Endometriosis – moving towards a pain-free future’ will bring together a panel of scientists, gynaecologists, women’s health advocates, a psychologist and women with experience of endometriosis. The event will be moderated by Dr Bernie Hobbs (ABC Science).

“Many myths still exist around endometriosis, such as ‘pregnancy is a cure for endometriosis’ or ‘teenagers can’t get endometriosis’,” Prof Gargett says.

“The Forum is an opportunity for women and teenagers with endometriosis, their partners and family members, to learn about the latest evidence-based scientific research, to ask questions, and also, to help experts understand the women’s own experiences.”

Scientific colloquium

The 2017 Ritchie Centre Colloquium, titled ‘New directions in endometriosis and women’s health research’, will showcase women’s health research, from endometriosis to pelvic organ prolapse, ovarian cancer, infertility, pregnancy and pre-eclampsia, at the Monash Health Translation Precinct in Clayton.

Day one will focus on endometriosis research from Australian and international scientists, while the second day will see presentations on a range of women’s health research areas.

Scientific program highlights:

  • Professor Andrew Horne (The University of Edinburgh) will present the plenary lecture on Lessons learnt from cancer to improve management of endometriosis
  • Associate Professor Caroline Gargett will examine whether a small ‘period’ experienced by some newborn baby girls could help predict endometriosis (Hudson Institute – The Ritchie Centre)
  • Dr Sofie Piessens will present on Advances in ultrasound diagnosis of endometriosis.
  • Associate Professor Louise Hull (Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide) will present on the Role of micro RNAs in endometriosis

“Hudson Institute is a world leader in endometriosis and women’s health research. Together with our women’s and baby health hub The Ritchie Centre, we are delighted to share expertise, bring the latest scientific breakthroughs to women, and to help broaden the public’s understanding of these conditions,” Hudson Institute Director and CEO, Professor Elizabeth Hartland, says.

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