A campaign is being launched this week to improve the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis, a painful disease linked to infertility.

Medical experts will raise awareness of the condition, which affects one in 10 ­Scottish women of childbearing age, at an event at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday.

Representatives from Endometriosis UK, academics from Edinburgh University and patients will make the case for the development of at least four specialist treatment centres.

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The disease causes tissue similar to the lining of the uterus to grow elsewhere in the body, such as the pelvis, ovaries and bladder. The growths can cause inflammation and severe pain, and lead to infertility in up to 40% of those affected.

Campaigners say women in Scotland wait an average of seven years before they are diagnosed correctly and current treatments often prove ineffective and have unpleasant side effects.

Dr Andrew Horne, consultant gynaecologist at the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health in Edinburgh, said: "It is fantastic that the Scottish Government are listening to medical practitioners, researchers and sufferers of endometriosis."