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Endometriosis is a very common condition, with Australian research suggesting that as many as one woman in nine will be diagnosed with it by the age of 44 years. Yet despite endometriosis being so common, it remains a mysterious and poorly understood disease that causes a great deal of suffering in our community.

Endometriosis has a wide range of effects and symptoms, including delays in becoming pregnant. Pain is a common feature, and this may occur with the periods or at other times – for some women, pain is always present.

Treating Endometriosis

There are many options for treating endometriosis, and choice of treatment must always be individualised to meet the specific goals for each woman. For example, when fertility is the main objective, treatment may be complex and involve medications, surgery, and sometimes IVF as well.

Professor Steve Robson began his training in the management of endometriosis 25 years ago, working with globally-recognised endometriosis specialist Professor John Kerin before his death. Professor Robson has more than 20 years experience in excisional endometriosis surgery, and commonly works with urological and colorectal surgeons to treat complex cases. He is a member of the Australian Endometriosis Advisory Group, as part of the National Action Plan for Endometriosis.

and Fertility

The association between infertility and endometriosis is well-recognised. The authors of a recent review of the disease reached the following conclusion:

“About 25 to 50% of infertile women have endometriosis, and 30 to 50% of women with endometriosis are infertile.”

Endometriosis can damage the fallopian tubes, affect the ‘quality’ of eggs, and the capacity of the normal endometrial lining of the uterus to allow an embryo to implant and grow.

Download your Guide to
endometriosis and fertility


Decision-making about surgery for endometriosis can be complex and is different for every woman. Different specialists will have different opinions.

Recognised international guidance suggests that endometriosis should be treated when either pain or infertility is a presenting symptom.

Download your Guide to
endometriosis surgery

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