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About the study


Research from Women’s Health Australia shows that an estimated 1 in 9 women under the age of 45 in Australia will be diagnosed with endometriosis. This means that you likely know someone with endometriosis, or you might have endometriosis yourself. Endometriosis (or ‘endo’) is a common disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside on other organs causing scarring and pain. Endometriosis may cause painful periods, heavy periods, and pain during sex and when going to the toilet. Some people with endometriosis are so severely affected by the disease that they struggle emotionally and physically with their everyday lives.

Very little is known about what causes endometriosis and who might be most at risk of developing the disease. A person’s genes, their family history, and their health and experiences during childhood and adolescence might tell us a lot about who is most likely to get endometriosis.

Aims of the study

In the Genetic variants, Early Life exposures, and Longitudinal Endometriosis symptoms Study (GELLES), we want to find out more about why endometriosis develops, looking at people’s genes and their health across their life, so that endometriosis can be diagnosed earlier and better treatments can be made available. To do this, we need women* with endometriosis and women without endometriosis to take part in our study.

We know that not all people who have periods identify as women. We acknowledge individuals in the transgender community and people who are non-binary.

How to participate

GELLES is currently open to the 1973-78 cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (also called Women’s Health Australia). An email with a link to the survey will be coming soon.

You don’t need to have an endometriosis diagnosis or symptoms to participate. If you agree to participate, you will be asked to:

  • Complete a confidential online survey, which will take approximately 30-60 minutes to complete, and;
  • Provide a sample of your saliva for genetic analysis. If you consent to providing a saliva sample, you will be mailed a saliva collection kit and instructions.

If you choose to participate by completing the online survey, you are not obligated to provide a saliva sample.

Every participant who completes the survey will receive a $30 Prezzee Smart eGift Card to be used online or in-store at 100+ Australian retailers. The eGift Card will be sent via email.

Plus, everyone who finishes the survey will go into a draw, with a chance to win a $1,000 Prezzee Smart eGift Card. Details of the prize draw will be announced soon. Click here to see the terms and conditions for the prize draw.

Study funding

GELLES is funded by the Medical Research Future Fund. It is a substudy of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH; also known as Women’s Health Australia).