The most googled question in women’s health for 2018 was “What is endometriosis?”.
Whether they had an inkling that their period symptoms weren’t normal, or had heard the phrase in the news, it’s a question worthy of an informed answer.
There has been a signifiant push to raise awareness for the debilitating condition throughout 2018. Celebrities such as Lena Dunham, Sophie Monk and Susan Sarandon are just a few of the celebrities who have openly shared their experiences with the condition.
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Yesterday I had a two hour surgery to remove my left ovary, which was encased in scar tissue & fibrosis, attached to my bowel and pressing on nerves that made it kinda hard to walk/pee/vamp. Over the last month it got worse and worse until I was simply a burrito posing as a human. *** My mother took this picture after I spent 9 hours in the post op recovery area with v low blood pressure that the nurses were diligently monitoring. I was so out of it that I thought I looked sensually moody a la Charlotte Rampling (turns out it was more of a constipation vibe.) *** A lot of people commented on my last post about being too sick to finish promoting my show by saying my hysterectomy should have fixed it (I mean *should* is a weird one). That I should get acupuncture and take supplements (I do). That I should see a therapist because it’s clearly psychological (year 25 of therapy, y’all. These are the fruits!) But a big lesson I’ve learned in all of this is that health, like most stuff, isn’t linear- things improve and things falter and you start living off only cranberry juice from a sippy cup/sleeping on a glorified heating pad but you’re also happier than you’ve been in years. I feel blessed creatively and tickled by my new and improved bellybutton and so so so lucky to have health insurance as well as money for care that is off of my plan. But I’m simultaneously shocked by what my body is and isn’t doing for me and red with rage that access to medical care is a privilege and not a right in this country and that women have to work extra hard just to prove what we already know about our own bodies and beg for what we need to be well. It’s humiliating. *** My health not being a given has paid spiritual dividends I could never have predicted and it’s opened me up in wild ways and it’s given me a mission: to advocate for those of us who live at the cross section of physical and physic pain, to remind women that our stories don’t have to look one way, our pain is our gain and oh shit scars and mesh “panties” are the fucking jam. Join me, won’t you? *** ???? @lauriesimmons
Since there is an average of a seven to 10 year delay in diagnosis, it’s imperative that the condition be discussed.
With over 700,000 women in Australia living with endometriosis it’s time we understand what exactly it is.
Dr. Stankiewicz is Medical Director of City Fertility Centre Adelaide and holds a Certificate in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (CREI), which is the highest qualification available in Australia for a fertility specialist.