There are 1 in 10 women living with endometriosis; a chronic condition without known cause that occurs in women where the lining of the womb decides to venture to the pelvic area, ovaries and other places in the body. It can be excruciatingly painful, debilitating and can cause a number of side effects, including painful sex and periods, skin issues and in some cases, infertility. As it's a gynecological condition, it often comes with no visible symptoms, but you are not alone and should never suffer in silence; while there is no cure, many steps can be taken to help alleviate symptoms.
It's long been called a neglected health issue, and to that end, more and more public figures are coming together to share their personal stories, including actresses Lena Dunham, Susan Sarandon, and Whoopi Goldberg, to help raise awareness of the issue and encourage women to speak out about it. "It's one of those things that women don't talk about, and so anything you can do to help them come forward and find out and get diagnosed and get treatment before it turns into something really horrible I think is really important," said Sarandon.
"I know I'm lucky in the grand health scheme, but I also know that I am one of many women who grasp for a sense of consistent well-being, fight against the betrayals of their bodies, and who are often met with skepticism by doctors trained to view painful periods as the lot of women who should learn to grin and bear it," Dunham added.
The latest woman to come forward is Star Wars actress, Daisy Ridley. In an Instagram post, she revealed a longtime battle with the condition, which she said shattered her confidence and left her with skin problems, so much so that she won't contemplate ever leaving the house without make-up. "I hate wearing make-up, but I currently don't want to leave the house without it." She explained that it had been a struggle to combat the issue, but with life and diet changes, things were getting better, and wanted to encourage women to seek help for their ailments rather than suffering alone.
"My point is, to any of you who are suffering from anything, go to a doctor; pay for a specialist; get your hormones tested, get allergy testing; keep on top of how your body is feeling and don't worry about sounding like a hypochondriac. From your head to the tips of your toes we only have one body, let us all make sure ours our working in tip top condition, and take help if it's needed."
Her post has already been met with much positivity online, with fans praising her for her openness and part in raising awareness. It's a great thing to see so many women of influence come out to fight the cause; the average delay in diagnosis in Ireland is over nine years and the more we speak openly about it, the more this will encourage women to ask for help, rather than dismiss the issue.
See Ridley's post below:
At 15 I was diagnosed with endometriosis. One laparoscopy, many consultations and 8 years down the line, pain was back (more mild this time!) and my skin was THE WORST. I've tried everything: products, antibiotics, more products, more antibiotics) and all that did was left my body in a bit of a mess. Finally found out I have polycycstic ovaries and that's why it's bad. I can safely say feeling so self conscious has left my confidence in tatters. I hate wearing make up but I currently don't want to leave the house without it on. HOWEVER PROGRESS IS BEING MADE! (With some help from a dermatologist and cutting out dairy (waah, except for spontaneous ice creams) and cutting down sugar (bigger waah but gotta do what you've gotta do)). Finally. Finally. (Throughout all this I've only had people being wonderful and encouraging and occasionally making me realise I'm being ridiculous and there's more to life)... My point is, to any of you who are suffering with anything, go to a doctor; pay for a specialist; get your hormones tested, get allergy testing; keep on top of how your body is feeling and don't worry about sounding like a hypochondriac. From your head to the tips of your toes we only have one body, let us all make sure ours our working in tip top condition, and take help if it's needed. #wasthispostlongenough #maybethesehashtagscanbulkitupabit #alsohowmanybracketsdoesonewomanneed #ifyourereadingthisiapplaudyou #thisisaclaymaskincaseyourewondering