Endometriosis (en-do-meet-tree-osis) is a disease that impacts 1 in 10 women. It causes extreme pelvic pain during menstruation, and can impact a woman’s fertility. If that wasn’t bad enough, the disease can also see women suffering for up to 11 years before they receive a diagnosis. This is due to many women believing that the pain is normal and not seeking medical advice about the pain.
Endometriosis is usually diagnosed through invasive surgery. However, a startup company in San Francisco called Dot Laboratories has designed a new blood test that will be able to identify the presence of endometriosis, without women having to go through the current procedure (surgery). Although we wish we could entirely turn off period pain, this test gives hope for a less invasive diagnostic method.
Heather Bowerman from Dot Laboratories told Triple J Hack:
“Dot Laboratories is commercialising the very first technology to diagnose endometriosis, It takes up to 11 years to diagnose and Dot Labs can take that 11-year time frame and make that into one day with a simple blood test.”
The trials that have been conducted initially have been so successful that Ms Bowerman is now talking to two pharmaceutical companies with global reach. They are looking to partner with her and this innovative test.
“Our dream about what the world would look like in 5 or 10 years or for our daughter’s generation is that Dot Labs can be used as a screening tool for the disease,” she said.
However, despite the exciting promise of a less invasive way to diagnose the disease, Louise Hull a member of the Endometriosis Australia Advisory Board, has told people to cool their jets:
“We’re all still trying to work out which people are going benefit from the testing but at this point in time, the idea would be that we would be able to tell without having the surgery certainly more accurately,” said Hull
Dot Laboratories are hoping that their test will be available as an endometriosis screening method within 5 to 10 years.