Mamamia is proud to launch Endo Week.

Telstra Smart Home
Thanks to our brand partner, Telstra Smart Home

If you’re lucky enough not to have endometriosis, I can practically guarantee you know someone who has it, even if you don’t realise it. Even if THEY don’t realise it.

That was the situation I found myself in a few years ago when my 20yo cousin was working at Mamamia as an intern one day a week and was baffling me with how……well…….hopeless she seemed to be.

Not at the work. She was good at the work. When she was there to do it. And that was the problem. She seemed to be never there. Her work day was meant to be a Monday and one day out of every two or three she’d call in sick.

Mia chats to her cousin Syl on the latest episode of No Filter:

Everyone knows what a Monday sick day means, especially when you’re young. Partying. Right?

On the days she did make it she’d often have to leave early or she’d arrive late.

I was perplexed. She’d begged me for the opportunity to intern. And it was awkward. We had a long line of intern applications and she was taking a place that could be filled in a heartbeat by someone who would take it seriously and, you know, turn up.

A post shared by Mia Freedman (@miafreedman) on

What I didn’t know – what Syl didn’t even know – was that she was suffering from a variety of debilitating, seemingly unconnected symptoms of endometriosis, a word she wouldn’t hear until she finally saw a specialist for a problem with her bladder and he was canny enough to ask about other symptoms and put the pieces together.

When she told me, I was sympathetic but not too much. I’d heard of endo. Wasn’t it just bad period pain? And wasn’t it only a problem when you wanted to get pregnant? Ha.

I knew nothing. And neither did she.

What followed was an extraordinary few years for Sylvia and her tiger mother Lesley who climbed the vertical cliff of information and misinformation about endo. Syl’s life would get much much worse before it began to get better.

"You have a chronic, painful but invisible illness. You’re doing the best you can." (Image: Supplied)

What they have achieved together  - for Sylvia personally and for the one in 10 Australian women who suffer from endo - is nothing short of remarkable.

And yet still too many women - and their friends, partners, families, bosses and co-workers - suffer in silence or ignorance. And here at Mamamia, we want to help change that.

Welcome to Endo Awareness Week at Mamamia, a week of written, podcast and video content curated by Sylvia Freedman, the co-founder of EndoActive, a community organisation (with no federal funding) that has worked tirelessly over the past couple of years to help women with endo.

Mamamia endometriosis Awareness Week

Our aim with Endo Week is to shine a light on the reality of endo, share information about treatments and provide support and understanding for anyone who is affected by this common condition - and all the people in their lives who are also affected.

You'll find loads of information, personal stories and helpful anecdotes. And remember that sharing is caring so please help us spread the word by sharing with your social networks.

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Telstra Smart Home.