UK parliament debate has potential to improve endometriosis and PCOS treatment outlook, says GlobalData

Following the news that UK parliament will discuss a petition later today, backed by 101,910 signatures, calling for increased funding for research into endometriosis and PCOS, two poorly understood illnesses that are thought to affect as many as 10% of women worldwide;

Sarah Bundra, Pharmaceutical Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“Endometriosis and PCOS have similarities that underscore why these specific female indications require more attention and funding. The etiology of these diseases is unknown. Oral contraceptives are often provided as a first-line therapy, which can provide pain relief, but does not ultimately address the root cause.

“Endometriosis is a disease in which endometrial-like tissue is found outside of the uterus. Common clinical manifestations include menstrual irregularities, chronic pelvic pain (CPP), infertility, pain during sexual intercourse, and pain during one’s menstrual period. These symptoms overlap with other illnesses, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This, in conjunction with the fact that the only way to definitively diagnose endometriosis is via a highly invasive surgical procedure, makes diagnosing endometriosis very difficult.

“PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is a condition where a woman’s hormones are imbalanced. This interferes with one’s menstrual periods, making them irregular or prolonged. Women with PCOS tend to have higher level of androgens, or male sex hormones, which can lead to facial hair or acne. Although the illness can cause the ovaries to enlarge with follicles surrounding the eggs, not all women who have PCOS have cysts on their ovaries.

“Endometriosis and PCOS can both affect a woman’s fertility, with PCOS also having the potential to cause miscarriage, premature birth, abnormal uterine bleeding, and more. The pain experienced as a result of these chronic conditions also affects the sufferers’ quality of life, with many endometriosis patients reporting feelings of depression and/or anxiety—which, in turn, can significantly impact one’s career, family, relationships, and psychological condition.

“Despite the severity of these effects, the treatment options available for endometriosis and PCOS need improvements in safety profile and efficacy. Many current endometriosis therapy options interfere with a woman’s ability to conceive and/or produce negative side effects such as hot flashes and bone mineral density (BMD) loss.

“The outcome of today’s discussion has the capacity to further endometriosis and PCOS research within the UK, which could improve treatment options, thereby bettering the quality of life for female citizens who suffer from either of these diseases.”

More Media