Sure enough, in March we undertake all sorts of amazing activities to raise awareness around endometriosis, as March is our ‘Endometriosis Awareness month‘. We ‘March into Yellow‘, post on social media, wear yellow clothes, and hold fundraisers. Over the past few years, these activities have had great momentum and surely must have educated a lot of people who were clueless before.
So why stop there? There is so much more we can do all year round!
Still so little is known about endometriosis, even though it affects 1 in 10 women in the world. We do know that certain medical interventions could help to improve our quality of life, but we are still often presented with difficult choices we shouldn’t have to make. Do I have another laparoscopy? Shall I have a hysterectomy? Do I take these drugs with nasty side effects, or do I skip the drugs and endure the daily pain instead? Nobody has to be reminded that there is still no cure for this disease.
How about those women that don’t even know the condition exists? They’re visiting doctor after doctor, trying to figure out ‘what is wrong with them’, but having no luck as some practitioners are not educated well enough to be able to diagnose the disease and put these women onto the right path. Did you know that women with endometriosis see an average of 8 doctors for 10 years before they’re diagnosed?
You can’t see endometriosis and pelvic pain, it’s often described as a hidden or silent disease. This is very challenging and frustrating for those who have endometriosis, for those who experience pelvic pain and for those working hard to have the condition recognized by health authorities and politicians. Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t always have to explain what ‘endometriosis’ is, if everybody knew what it was?
Creating #endometriosisawareness and awareness around pelvic pain can not only help us manage our condition better, but can also help research into endometriosis and pelvic pain evolve, get medical practitioners the proper education they need, get all women diagnosed accordingly, as well as provide us with the (mental) support we need from the people around us.
There are some fantastic organizations out there who are doing an amazing job fighting for our cause worldwide, like ‘EndoMarch‘ or the Endometriosis Organisation . In Australia, we also have the ‘Pelvic Pain Foundation‘ and ‘EndoActive‘. And don’t forget the 2 beautiful films that have recently come out, ‘Endo What?‘ and ‘Endo & Us‘.
But there is so much we can do as individuals as well!
Take the time to educate yourself. There is so much to know! When you have endometriosis yourself, you will find that you naturally learn more and more as you go through your journey of trying to find answers to your questions. The Endopaedia is a good place to start.
Talk about it with your friends and family. The more they understand about endometriosis and the impact it has on your life, the more they will be able to support you, and the more chance there is they pass this information on to someone who may recognize the symptoms in herself and as a result is able to have a successful diagnosis!
Share on Social Media. If you are present on social media, this is your chance to spread the word! Tell them about endometriosis, its symptoms and the impact it can have. Create awareness by using hash tags like #endometriosisawareness, or #endoawareness. Be as bold or subtle as you like, just get the people talking!
Community activities. If you’re a good public speaker, try and organize to speak about endometriosis at the local school or community center. Or keep it online and start your own website or blog.
Support your local (not for profit) organisation. A lot of these organizations work incredibly hard to fight for our cause. This is often in their spare time, time away from their families and friends. This is time they take to help us. These organizations often need support, you can offer to volunteer of donate some money if you can, so they can keep fighting to make a difference for all of us!
Have you got any other ideas to spread the word? Let us hear about it!