Symptoms of endometriosis can include pain in the lower stomach and back, pain during and after sex, pain when using the toilet, sickness, constipation and diarrhoea. These experiences all have a profound effect on an individual’s quality of life and can even cause infertility and depression.
Endometriosis UK claim 1 in 10 women suffer with this horrific condition, yet there is very limited information or support available. Statistics show that 74% of men do not know about this condition and 40% of people cannot name a single symptom. With such a high proportion of society living with this complex condition, a month dedicated to raising awareness of endometriosis is crucial to improving attitudes toward women’s health.
Historically, women have struggled to have their health taken seriously by medical professionals, making awareness campaigns like this even more important. Due to a lack of understanding and gender prejudice, doctors have previously dismissed women’s experience of pain and ignored the need to diagnose conditions, such as endometriosis. Sexist stereotypes of women being ‘irrational’ and ‘emotional’ have dominated medical thinking and made it all too easy to assume that women’s expressions of pain have no physical basis, particularly when talking about reproductive health. The stigma surrounding menstruation needs to end now, and women’s pain needs to be taken seriously.
Endometriosis Awareness Month encourages more women to have the confidence to speak out about their experiences and raise awareness of reproductive conditions. Celebrities like Alexa Chung, Emma Barnett and others are all beginning to share their own stories in a bid to normalise the experience and support a change in attitude.
- Share your symptoms on social media, if you suffer, by tagging 10 friends with the hashtag #1in10.
- Hold an Endo the Night Party and get a support group together for a social event to raise awareness and funds.
- Attend a Worldwide Endo March to meet others with the condition.