It's time to get #EndoWise.
Endometriosis, also known as 'endo', is a 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.
Women of Australia share their stories
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.
Jennifer and 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.
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.
Together we can make Australia #EndoWise.
#EndoWise is a campaign to build awareness of this condition, a chance for the women of Australia who have endo to tell their stories. We will show you the many faces and experiences of endo.
Together we can call 'time' on silent suffering, expand our knowledge and awareness of endo, and learn – and take control – by listening.
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.