Endo Wise looks at the common but under-recognised chronic disease called endometriosis. Eight women share their personal experiences with endo, as it's often called, from symptoms to diagnosis and how they manage the condition.
As a 25-year-old, Alice has not only spent years managing endometriosis, but also managing the expectations of friends who might not always understand what it's like to have a chronic condition. Transcript
Hithaishi had to convince doctors she wasn't drug seeking and didn't have psychological issues before she was diagnosed with endometriosis. Transcript
As a teenager, Liza's doctor recommended she have a radical hysterectomy to ease her pain. But Liza didn't let a diagnosis of endometriosis define her life. Find out what she did. Transcript
Jennifer & India’s story
Jennifer realised she probably had endometriosis when her older sister was diagnosed—along with two other sisters. Find out what happened when she had daughters of her own. Transcript
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Why get #EndoWise?
Endometriosis, also known as 'endo', is a chronic condition that is more common than diabetes or breast cancer – affecting one in 10 women of reproductive age worldwide – yet many people don't know what it is.
It also takes, on average, 7-10 years for a woman to get a diagnosis of endo, from when she first visits a doctor about her symptoms.
A message of hope
Endo Wise aims to build awareness of this condition, to call 'time' on silent suffering, expand our knowledge and awareness of endo, and learn and take control by listening.
Every woman with endo has her own story to tell and her own experience of the condition.
Together we can make Australia #EndoWise.
What exactly is 'endo'?
Endometriosis (pronounced end-o-me-tree-oh-sis) is a chronic condition in which cells similar to those that line the uterus (the endometrium) grow in other parts of the body.
These cells undergo the same menstrual changes as those inside the uterus, but unlike period blood, have no way of escaping, so they build up, causing problems such as inflammation, scarring, reduced fertility and – in three out of four cases – pain.
Symptoms & diagnosis
On a physical level, symptoms of endo can include severe period pain, pelvic pain, painful sex, pain when going to the toilet and infertility.
The often long delay in diagnosis, dealing with chronic pain and the complexity of the condition means that endo can affect women on a mental and emotional level, too, particularly if their professional or private life is compromised, as often can be the case.
Jean Hailes Medical Director and gynaecologist, Dr Elizabeth Farrell
"As a society we need to challenge the idea that it is all right for women to have severe period symptoms. If any woman is missing school or work or is unable to participate in her life generally because of period pain or other reasons, then we need to do something about this."
A message of support
From the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt.