Efforts to improve the lives of women living with endometriosis have been boosted, with the Turnbull government announcing the development of an action plan for the painful and often misunderstood gynaecological condition.
Endometriosis affects an estimated one in 10 women and diagnosis of the condition takes on average about eight to nine years.
"This condition should have been better acknowledged and acted upon long ago but today we are taking action so the struggle that women face will no longer be silent or their battles private," Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.
"We will work with the medical community and key stakeholders to look into what gaps might be present in training, support and care."
The action plan will be developed in collaboration with the Australian Coalition for Endometriosis and members of the Parliamentary Friends for Endometriosis Awareness.
Also announced on Wednesday was a research grant of $160,000, through the National Health and Medical Research Council, for Professor Grant Montgomery to use genomics to investigate better treatments for women with endometriosis.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other parts of the body, commonly in the reproductive organs but often in the bowel and bladder. It often causes severe pelvic pain and can cause infertility.
Women and researchers have long been campaigning for doctors to start taking the medical condition seriously.
One of those experts pushing for greater awareness was Dr Robert Markham, a scientist and senior lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Sydney.
He revealed earlier this year that research was underway to develop a rapid, non-invasive test for endometriosis to make diagnosis faster and easier.
"Endometriosis is a progressive disease and long delays before diagnosis and treatment allows the condition to advance - so there is an urgent need for a sensitive and specific test for the diagnosis," Dr Markham told AAP.
The test would involve simply urinating in a cup to test for specific proteins uniquely linked to endometriosis, lead researcher Dr Fred Wong said.
Using proteomic technology, Dr Wong and his team identified 11 proteins uniquely linked to endometriosis.
"These 11 proteins are potential biomarkers so we could use these proteins to potentially develop a screening test of endometriosis," Dr Wong said.
Advocacy group EndoActive welcomed the move to put endometriosis on the national health agenda and said it looked forward to working with the government.
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