Improving the diagnosis of endometriosis in Asia-Pacific: Consensus from the Asia-Pacific Endometriosis Expert Panel for Endometriosis

Chih Feng Yen, Mukhri Hamdan, Pattaya Hengrasmee, Zhongwei Huang, Kyungah Jeong, Le Anh Dao, Srithean Lertvikool, Surita Mogan, Bhaskar Pal, Kanadi Sumapradja, Meng Hsing Wu, Maria Isidora Margarita Yap-Garcia, Catherine Donovan, Stephen Christopher, Mee Ran Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Endometriosis should be diagnosed as early as possible in the continuum of care; but substantial delays of approximately 6–8 years between symptom onset and endometriosis diagnosis have been widely reported. With the purpose of improving the prompt diagnosis of endometriosis, the Asia-Pacific Endometriosis Expert Panel (APEX) sought to address the reasons for diagnostic delays across the region, and formulate a multi-pronged approach to overcoming these challenges. In the first instance, clinical diagnosis is preferable to surgical diagnosis, in order to facilitate earlier empirical treatment and minimize the negative sequelae of undiagnosed/untreated disease. There should be a high clinical index of suspicion in women presenting with cyclical symptoms, including those involving extrapelvic organs. Diagnostic delays in Asia-Pacific countries are attributable to a variety of patient, physician, and healthcare factors, including poor awareness, normalization/trivialization of pain, individual/cultural attitudes toward menstruation, default use of symptom-suppressing treatments, misdiagnosis, and a lack of diagnostic resourcing or adequate referral pathways in some areas. Suggested initiatives to reduce diagnostic delays are geared toward improving public awareness, improving clinical diagnostic skills, streamlining multidisciplinary care pathways for timely referral, updating and implementing diagnostic guidelines, lobbying policymakers and insurance companies for endometriosis support, and increasing efforts to bridge data gaps and perform further research in this field. Formulating specific action plans and gathering traction are the responsibility of individual countries within local parameters. The APEX group advocates for any initiatives and policies that support the unmet needs of women with endometriosis, to improve patient experience and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-732
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Volume163
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Keywords

  • Asia
  • consensus
  • early diagnosis
  • endometriosis

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