18 Nov 2022

Participants sought: Female volunteers wanted for study on endometriosis and IBS

Participants sought for endometriosis
and IBS study

Monash University is conducting a study to understand the causes of gastrointestinal symptoms in women with endometriosis.

A little background 

Endometriosis affects around 1 in 10 Australian women and many of these women also suffer from IBS and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhoea). Currently, we do not know what causes the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with endometriosis.  

To express your interest, take the screening survey (via QR code) or see below for more detail and contact information. 

What is the purpose of this research? 

This pilot study is trying to work out the cause of gastrointestinal symptoms in women with endometriosis. Specifically, whether they are caused by chronic inflammation and/or from having a highly sensitive gut wall.  

Who is eligible to participate? 

We are looking for Melbourne-based women aged between 18 and menopause who have been diagnosed with endometriosis AND irritable bowel syndrome.  

Who is ineligible for this study?

  • Males
  • People living outside of Melbourne (unless you can travel to Melbourne for the rectal barostat appointment)
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Women suffering from another gut disorder such as coeliac disease
  • Women recovering from recent abdominal surgery
  • Women with a history of hysterectomy, oophorectomy or bowel resection

What will my participation involve?

  • Completing a screening appointment via Zoom with our study gastroenterologist
  • Completing a one-off questionnaire that asks questions about gastrointestinal symptoms, endometriosis, quality of life and mental health. This can be completed at home.
  • Collecting 1 stool and 1 vaginal sample at home.
  • Undergoing a rectal barostat procedure at the Alfred Hospital (outpatients clinic)

What is a rectal barostat procedure? 

A rectal barostat procedure is used to test how well you feel things in the rectum. The procedure is completed by a gastroenterologist and involves:

  • Attending an appointment at the Alfred Hospital following an overnight fast
  • Completing a urine pregnancy test (must be negative to proceed)
  • Answering some questions about your gastrointestinal symptoms and bowel habits.
  • Having a water enema to clean out the lower part of your bowel into the toilet
  • Undergoing a brief rectal examination
  • Having a thin tube (with a bag attached) eased gently into your rectum. Air will then be inflated into the bag and you will register the sensations you feel
  • Having 4 rectal biopsies taken.

Will the procedure be uncomfortable? 

You may experience some discomfort during the rectal barostat procedure and may feel like you need to have a bowel movement. However, if at any time you feel an intolerable sensation, you can press a button and the procedure will be terminated.

How much time is required?  

Around 3.5 hours in total

  • Completing the survey and collecting the samples at home may take ~ 1 hour.
  • The screening appointment via Zoom will take ~30 minutes
  • The rectal barostat procedure will take approximately 2 hours.

How can I find out more?  

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