It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you all to the 3rd European Congress of Endometriosis in Budapest.

After more than 100 years of research, endometriosis is still an enigmatic disease. Approximately 7-15 % of all women in reproductive age suffer from it. In spite of the high prevalence public recognition of the disease is low and the time span from the onset of the first symptoms to diagnosis in average is too long (more than six years!). One of the underlying reasons for this delay might be that the perception of the disease is low not only in the society, but even among healthcare providers. Beyond that, the etiology is still poorly understood and therapeutic options cannot guarantee a cure. Nevertheless, the impact of endometriosis on quality of life is high – they are dealing not only with the symptoms of endometriosis and the morbidity of repeated surgeries but also with the lack of public awareness. Moreover, dramatic changes in personal relations are frequently seen, deteriorating quality of life even further. On the other hand, the economic burden due to loss of productivity at work generates a socio-economic problem for the whole society.

The European Endometriosis League (EEL) was founded in 2005 with the aim of providing platform for all affected and to improve awareness towards endometriosis. It also serves as a frame for patient self-support groups and public educational projects. The League is the oldest and largest european society focusing mainly on endometriosis while also covering other important fields of co-existing gynecological conditions (i.e. fibroids, bleeding disorders, polyps).

We are proud of a living and growing community with many volunteers who actively support projects like the online “expert opinion” (for more information see the homepage) and many other Europe-wide awareness events. As a very successfull initiative, the EEL also started the first certification program for “European Endometriosis Centers of Excellence” with more than 100 centers that have already certified after fulfilling the requirements. The main goal for certification is to build up a framework of specialized centers thus enabling optimal treatment of endometriosis through endometriosis experts within reach. This also highlights the understanding of the importance of therapeutic and structural guidelines established on a common knowledge of all experts belonging to the same framework. Furthermore, active care providers who come together and share their thoughts add an exceptional value to meetings like this one in Budapest.

I wish all of you a memorable congress with fruitful discussions, great impressions and lots of new friends.

Come to Budapest – and become part of the active society!

Looking forward to seeing you all in Hungary,

Stefan Renner
President European Endometriosis League (EEL)