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Image / Editorial

Endometriosis: Alexa Chung describes condition as ‘invisible hellmare’ in emotional Instagram post


by IMAGE
02nd Mar 2020
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Alexa Chung has opened up about the importance of raising awareness of endometriosis


It’s characterised by extremely painful periods and a host of other symptoms, yet for the one in 10 Irish women living with endometriosis, the waiting time for diagnosis is up to 9 years (compared to seven-and-a-half in the UK).

The condition, which is caused by abnormal cell growth outside the uterus, is physically and emotionally debilitating, but women often feel like their pain isn’t taken seriously by doctors. Indeed, many spend years getting pushed from pillar to post.

Fashion designer and presenter Alexa Chung, who suffers from endometriosis, recently took to Instagram to highlight what she considers to be a “gender healthcare bias”.

Posting a photograph of a recent placard from @allontheboard, which posts inspirational and important messages on Tube information boards around London, Chung spoke about having surgery to deal with her endometriosis:

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Why don’t they know what it is? Why don’t they know how to cure it? Could it be to do with a gender healthcare bias? Also probably doesn’t help that “endometriosis” is the longest and most boring word to read. Thank you to @allontheboard for raising awareness about this debilitating disease that affects 1 in 10 women and yet on average takes 7 years to diagnose. Sorry if you have it, thrilled if you don’t and grateful if you’re a supportive partner, friend of family member to someone suffering with this invisible hellmare. I’m lucky because I felt much better after surgery but I know that’s not the case for everyone and may not be the case forever. Sending love to those in pain and thanks to doctors trying to help. ??

A post shared by Alexa Chung (@alexachung) on

“Why don’t they know what it is? Why don’t they know how to cure it? Could it be to do with a gender healthcare bias?

“Also probably doesn’t help that ‘endometriosis’ is the longest and most boring word to read,” she wrote.

“Thank you to @allontheboard for raising awareness about this debilitating disease that affects one in 10 women and yet on average takes seven years to diagnose.

“Sorry if you have it, thrilled if you don’t and grateful if you’re a supportive partner, friend or family member to someone suffering with this invisible hellmare.

“I’m lucky because I felt much better after surgery but I know that’s not the case for everyone and may not be the case forever. Sending love to those in pain and thanks to doctors trying to help.”


Read more: Ten things you need to know about endometriosis

Read more: ‘It got worse and worse’: Why on earth don’t we take women’s pain seriously?