Centre for Reproductive Health

Researchers from the CRH participate in Endometriosis Action Month

March was Endometriosis Action Month and members of the Horne/ EXPPECT lab carried out a stellar job of raising awareness of their important endometriosis research and this common yet debilitating women’s health condition.

Picture of the EXPPECT Edinburgh team
EXPPECT Edinburgh team

There was a particular focus on the trials into non-hormonal treatments for endometriosis; in particular, how dichloroacetate (DCA) can help manage endometriosis associated pain. If successful, dichloroacetate could be the first ever non-hormonal and non-surgical treatment for endometriosis – and the first new treatment in 40 years.

There was also a reflection on past achievements as CRH researchers look to their future research goals with the key aim of improving treatment options and health outcomes for those who suffer from endometriosis.

Some examples of impactful outreach include:

Professor Andrew Horne

Economist Article

In the lead up to Endometriosis Action Month, Professor Andrew Horne contributed expert commentary to this article in The Economist (February 2024) discussing the breakthrough towards non-hormonal treatment for endometriosis and the EPiC 2 trial (co-led by Lucy Whitaker).

Read the Economist article

Wellbeing of Women

On International Women’s Day (08.04.24), Wellbeing of Women released a film looking back at achievements as a charity over 60 years and the women’s health research it supports, including Dr Lucy Whitaker’s work.

Watch the YouTube video

Wellbeing of Women continues to use and share footage and interviews of our researchers (including Lucy) in the CRH lab, including Lucy, across all their social platforms and website. The team have acknowledged the many positive comments the posts receive and how accessible and educational the content is, helping to smash the stigma of bleeding problems associated with conditions such as endometriosis.

ITN Business 'The Future we Deserve'

A crew from ITN visited our lab to learn more about research into Endometriosis and Heavy Menstrual Bleeding, how it affects women and society, and why reproductive health research is so important.

Watch the full programme on the ITN website

(aired on International Women's Day, 08.04.24)

Dr Lucy Whitaker presented the endometriosis research section of this programme and we thank the endometriosis case study, Candice McKenzie, for speaking so honestly about her lived experience of endometriosis, which was included in the film.

BBC Food

Expert commentary from Professor Horne was included in this fascinating BBC Food article which discusses the impact of diet on endometriosis symptoms (08.03.24).

Read the BBC Food article

BBC Radio Scotland

Dr Lucy Whitaker was interviewed by Kaye Adams on BBC Radio Scotland (12.03.23). She spoke eloquently about the need for a reliable biomarker to improve endometriosis diagnosis and treatment.

CLUE

Lucy Whitaker standing beside her poster presentation
Lucy Whitaker

Lucy was also featured by CLUE’s Science Team within an endometriosis focus thread on their social platforms, receiving a great deal of traction. She explained the symptoms of endometriosis and was interviewed about her research progress and the EPiC2 clinical trial. This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled feasibility trial to evaluate dichloroacetate in the management of endometriosis-associated pain will have 100 participants, and recruitment begins this summer.

EPiC2 builds on the findings of previous CRH trials which discovered that people with endometriosis had higher levels of lactate in their pelvises than those who did not have the condition and that dichloroacetate (DCA) could potentially treat endometriosis pain.

Read about the EPiC2 clinical trial

CLUE is the only female-founded, female-led trackers app. It is passionate about technology leading the way to more inclusive research, education and policy and aims to provide trustworthy information, data driven tools and support for everyone with a menstrual cycle.

Presentation at the Scottish Government

Frankie Hearn-Yeates (PhD student) and Ann Doust (Research Portfolio Manager), both members of the Horne/ EXPPECT lab within the CRH, presented at the Scottish Government on 14.03.24 as part of an endometriosis awareness raising event.

Frankie gave an overview of her PhD project and shared her ongoing work on her science-art engagement project ‘The Wandering Womb’ and Ann presented on a number of the EXPPECT clinical trials. The staff who attended were impressed, offering positive feedback.

Our researchers are grateful to both Wellbeing of Women and the Scottish Government, mentioned above, for their generous funding which allows the pioneering CRH research into endometriosis to continue.

Frankie Hearn-Yeates (PhD student) delivers a presentation in a lecture hall.
Frankie Hearn-Yeates (PhD student) delivers her presentation.