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Gynaecology Research Centre - Focussing on Women

The Women’s is continuing to lead international academic gynaecological research with the launch of the Women’s Gynaecology Research Centre (WGRC).

The Women’s is the largest specialist hospital for women in the country, and the Centre’s research will provide greater understanding of common gynaecological conditions to improve prevention, diagnosis and management of conditions.

The WGRC is the first centre in Australia to bring together clinical and laboratory expertise to investigate a wide range of common gynaecological issues. These health conditions include: adverse menopausal symptoms, managing menopause after cancer, heavy and abnormal menstrual bleeding; endometriosis, uterine fibroid, pelvic pain, infertility and sexual health dysfunction due to cancer treatment.

The WGRC is headed by international expert Martha Hickey, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Women’s and at the University of Melbourne, and Professor Peter Rogers, Professor of Women’s Health Research at University of Melbourne in partnership with the Women’s.

Professor Hickey points out that most women suffer from gynaecological problems at some point in their lives. Abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain affect up to one third of Australian women.

“Gynaecological conditions can seriously affect women’s function, wellbeing and quality of life but we need to promote open discussion of these issues in the media and community.”

“Menopause usually occurs when women reach their early fifties, but can occur earlier for around 10 per cent of women,” Professor Hickey says. “Treatment for breast cancer often causes menopausal symptoms which can also be difficult to manage”.

Professor Rogers' investigation of endometriosis has attracted National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding. Endometriosis is a common and often debilitating gynaecological condition affecting women in their reproductive years. His team are recruiting 1000 women in order to investigate genetic factors linked to this common condition in women.