Written by Olivia Rostron
The latest fight against gender inequality, giving endometriosis sufferers a voice.
The campaign for gender inequality issues has been fuelled by a succinct hashtag and a horde of supportive celebrities. But what about other issues relating specifically to women’s health – namely, endometriosis?
For many women, the first they hear of endometriosis is when they’re faced with a diagnostic laparoscopy – often after years of suffering. How can this be a societal norm? In an age of modern medicine, tens of thousands of women are left to research this incurable condition themselves, leaving them alone and scared. This shouldn’t be a norm, so we have decided to tackle this issue on behalf of all sufferers.
What is endometriosis?
- Endometriosisis a condition where the lining of the womb (endometrium) grows in other parts of the body.
- It affects roughly 1 in 10 women of childbearing age (the likelihood drops post menopause).
- The endometrium tissue can be found in a range of places in the body. These can include the fallopian tubes, bowel, bladder, and stomach.
- The cause of the growth of endometrium tissue is unknown and the condition is currently deemed as incurable, meaning diagnosis and treatment is difficult.
- Endometriosis is a debilitating condition, leaving many women struggling to maintain jobs and enjoy an active lifestyle.
- One of the largest issues associated with endometriosis is infertility, with Endometriosis UK confirming a link between a low pregnancy rates and the condition.
Source: NHS England
How do I know if I have endometriosis?
We interviewed six women sufferers who described their symptoms.
- Pain in the lower back and stomach (pelvic pain) which is usually worse during your period
- Persistent and intense period pain that impacts your daily life
- Pain during or after sex
- Pain toileting during your period
- Sickness, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in urine during your period
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Heavy periods – using a lot of pads/tampons and even bleeding through your clothes
- Low mood/depression and other mental health conditions
If you believe that you may be suffering with symptoms of endometriosis, contact your GP for investigative tests and a referral to a specialist.
We must fight for answers, out of 2600 women who spoke to the All Parliamentary Group on Women’s Health, 40% saw a doctor ten times before diagnosis – this cannot carry on. Another concerning statistic is that one in eight women who suffer from endometriosis were misdiagnosed for over two years, which seems exceptionally high considering that the condition affects so many women.
Study: All Parliamentary Group
To join the fight for endometriosis awareness, use the hashtag #THINKENDOMETROSIS on Facebook and Instagram. The more women who know about the condition, the more we can support each other.
This should be the norm, we must unite for education on female specific conditions.