Sylvia Freedman is 23 years old and she has endometriosis. Sylvia’s endo is at stage 4 – the most severe – and her symptoms are so debilitating, it has effected every aspect of her life. You can read her story on Mamamia here.
One in 10 women in Australia has this chronic, incurable, gynecological disease that often results in infertility. That’s half a million women with a disease that forces them to abandon their studies, their jobs and their holidays and lands them on the couch or in emergency; and often, when they want babies, in IVF. It costs us around $600,000 dollars a year for every woman with Endo; for doctors, drugs, surgery, natural remedies and practitioners and lost hours of work.
In the course of researching the illness, Sylvia’s mother Lesley discovered that Bayer (an International Pharmaceutical company) has produced Visanne; a pill specially developed to alleviate the pain and inflammation of Endometriosis. The catch? It’s not available in Australia because Bayer didn’t think there was enough demand to make it financially viable to import it – even though it’s been approved for use here.
Instead of accepting this, Lesley and Sylvia decided to make some noise, writing posts for The Glow and Mamamia, appearing on The Project and on national radio to promote a petition they started at change.org/bayer to try and convince Bayer to change their mind and introduce Visanne.