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Women Feel They Are Being Made To Keep Silent About Endometriosis

Women Feel They Are Being Made To Keep Silent About Endometriosis

Endometriosis affects one in 10 women and 176 million globally - but many women feel they cannot talk openly about the condition - and it's affecting their mental health.

A new study has revealed over a fifth of women believe society wants them to keep quiet about their experiences of endometriosis, as well as other health issues.

The research is part of a new campaign by Bodyform called #wombstories, which is giving a voice to the "unseen, unspoken and unknown truths" about women's bodies and their experience of endometriosis, as well as miscarriage, fertility issues and menopause.

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They're urging women to open up about their health and wellbeing, after research found staying silent, or bottling up their concerns, is having an affect on their mental health.

The study found that 68 per cent of women who had experienced miscarriage, endometriosis, fertility issues and menopause said being open with family and friends helped them cope. Meanwhile, almost two thirds said trying to go through it alone was a mistake.

Endometriosis affects one in 10 women (Credit: Unsplash)
Endometriosis affects one in 10 women (Credit: Unsplash)

The same research revealed 21 per cent of women feel society wants them to stay silent about it, while over half said societal judgement made them feel they couldn't share their experiences.

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In keeping quiet, however, 44 per cent said they had damaged their mental health.

Endometriosis is caused when endometrial tissue - which normally lines the inside of the uterus - starts to grow outside the uterus.

Over half of women said societal judgement made them feel they couldn't share their experiences (Credit: Unsplash)
Over half of women said societal judgement made them feel they couldn't share their experiences (Credit: Unsplash)

The endometrial tissue reacts to the menstrual cycle as it would in the womb - shedding, breaking down and bleeding.

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When this process happens within womb, it leaves the body in a monthly period. But when it happens outside of the uterus, there's nowhere for the tissue to go.

This build-up of shedding and bleeding causes pain, discomfort and inflammation, as well as scar tissue. It remains notoriously difficult to diagnose, taking an average of seven and a half years.

Irish singer Ruth-Anne previously shared these powerful pictures on her Instagram to emphasise the debilitating effects the condition can have.

Almost 50 per cent of women with the condition said it affects their mental health (Credit: Instagram/ Ruth-Anne)
Almost 50 per cent of women with the condition said it affects their mental health (Credit: Instagram/ Ruth-Anne)
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A part of the campaign, Bodyform is releasing a film exposing the culture of silence and taboo.

They will be sharing a series of #wombstories - looking at miscarriage, endometriosis, fertility issues and menopause - and pushing back on the assumption of what a woman's 'timeline' should look (aka, starting their period, wanting a baby, getting pregnant, having more babies and then going through the menopause).

To put an end to the taboo, they're encouraging all women to open up and share their own #wombstories from 1st July.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Endometriosis, Life News, Health

Lucy Devine

Lucy is a journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a master's degree in journalism, she has worked in both print and online and is particularly interested in fashion, food, health and women's issues. Northerner, coffee addict, says hun a lot. Get in touch at [email protected]

 

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