Graphic pictures show what it's like to live with endometriosis
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Emma Wilson Photography
Shocking images shared by an artist aim to demonstrate how serious and painful endometriosis is for those living with the 'invisible' disease.
It's estimated that more than 10 percent of women have the condition, but it can be difficult to diagnose. As a result, many are left struggling to cope with their symptoms, which include pain in the stomach or back, pain during sex and difficulty getting pregnant.
In a bid to try and demonstrate the seriousness of what people with endometriosis are going through, makeup artist Andrea Baines decided to use make up to create gruesome-looking wounds on the stomach, bringing the 'invisible' disease into the light.
The idea came to her while she training at a make up academy that asked her to design a special effects shoot as part of her course.
Andrea told Tyla: "After a rough few months with my endometriosis, I decided I wanted to try and show people how it feels inside."
Asking a fellow sufferer, Rachel Berwick, to model for her, Andrea set about creating wounds on Rachel's stomach which she felt reflected the pain accurately.
She asked her friend and photographer Emma Wilson to snap the images, hoping to show people who know nothing about endometriosis that just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not real.
"I wanted to make an invisible illness visible and get people talking," she said.
Andrea herself was diagnosed with endometriosis in her late teens, and she underwent her first surgery when she was 21 after having suffered with unbearable pain.
She described her 'stabbing and twisting pains', and added it's like her 'insides are being squeezed'.
Andrea has since undergone even more surgeries, but the scar tissue caused by them has meant her internal organs fused, creating further pain.
"Sometimes the pain leaves me bed bound," she said.
"Emotionally it's affected me because I feel guilty when I'm so tired and it's also embarrassing to bleed so heavily.
"The fact it's invisible can be really hard to deal with as people assume you're well."
Andrea hopes that people being able to see the physical images will leave people more sympathetic to sufferers, and added: "I wanted the image to be quite shocking to gain interest and really connect with women who also suffer."