Emmanuel Macron announces the launch of a strategy against endometriosis

Better management, awareness and diagnosis of endometriosis, these are the main axes of the national strategy announced Tuesday, January 11 by Emmanuel Macron, via a video posted on social networks.

“It’s not a women’s problem. It’s a social problem ”, estimated the president about this disease which affects nearly one in ten women, or about 2.5 million of them, and is the leading cause of infertility in France. A disease that must be “To come out of silence”, in the words of the president.

This strategy is the result of a report requested by the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, from Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, gynecologist and Member of the European Parliament (La République en Marche), who has been fighting to have this disease recognized for years. “It is a culmination and a great day for me and for all these women who have experienced difficulties in having a child, who have lost their jobs …”, she said. For this report, it set up working groups bringing together researchers, doctors and patient associations. The works were launched in 2019 but were slowed down by the health crisis.

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Endometriosis is characterized by the presence of uterine tissue (or endometrial tissue) outside the uterine cavity. During menstruation, cells of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus), instead of being evacuated downwards, flow upwards through the tubes in an abnormal fashion. These cells proliferate and can penetrate into tissues and organs (ovaries, intestines, bladder, etc.), cause bleeding, nodules or cysts, and generate severe pain in most cases, most often during menstruation or intercourse. sexual. These pains usually appear in adolescence, and intensify over time. Endometriosis often has a disabling impact on a daily basis on sexuality, marital, family or professional life … Despite this, this disease has remained in the shadows for years, and is still too little known today, the subject of rules still remaining a taboo.

Strong disparities in care

The stake of the strategy is to “Better understand this disease and its causes and find therapeutic treatments”, said Emmanuel Macron. This will notably involve the launch of a large national epidemiological study, in particular based on already existing cohorts, the establishment of a research incubator. It is also planned to set up “A French, even European, endometriosis cohort, which will scrutinize the frequency, factors and consequences of the disease”, according to the President of the Republic. In particular, it will be a question of better identifying the causes, still very poorly understood, which associate factors directly linked to menstruation with genetic and environmental factors.

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