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Search Methodology

Two relevant guidelines were identified: the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) Green Top Guideline No. 24 on the Investigation and Management of Endometriosis (published in October 2006), and the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (2005) guideline on which the RCOG guideline is based.

The original search carried out for the RCOG guideline incorporated publications released until 30th April 2006. The ESHRE guidelines included publications until 28th February 2006. These searches were replicated to ensure this article corresponded with these guidelines.

Databases searched included Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, DARE, OVID Medline, Pubmed and OVID Embase. Systematic reviews, meta-analyses and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were specifically targeted, using a combination of the SIGN Embase Systematic Review filter, the SIGN Embase RCT filter, the Medline Systematic Review CRD filter, the Medline SIGN RCT filter and the Pubmed Systematic Review filter. The search terms used included endometriosis; endometriomas; endometriosis/diagnosis; endometriosis/drug therapy; endometriosis/complications; endometriosis/surgery and these were combined with the limits ‘English in language’ and restricted to May 2006 to the end of February 2007.

The abstracts of the 158 papers identified were manually inspected to determine their relevance and appropriateness for inclusion in this document. Articles included were good systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials, and less robust studies where they were considered to illustrate a point of controversy or indicate a possible future direction for the management of the condition. When a paper was to be included, or where doubt existed over the appropriateness of the data, the full-text was obtained.

The following summary document is based on the existing guidelines which have been updated where new evidence has become available. These data are cited. Readers are referred to the RCOG guideline for the citation details of the older studies.

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