Endometriosis Sufferers 'Take Own Lives' Due To Lack Of Support, Finds New Study
If you asked a room full of people what endometriosis is, the chances are that many wouldn't know. But for one in 10 women it's a crushing and debilitating part of their day-to-day lives.
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Causing chronic pain, infertility, fatigue, painful sex, vomiting and bowel and bladder problems, the incurable condition occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows elsewhere in the body, with nowhere for the blood to escape when it sheds.
Now, in the largest study ever into the 'silent disease,' conducted by the BBC, 13,500 women were interviewed about the effect it had on their lives.
And the shocking new research into the condition has shown that as many as half of endometriosis sufferers have had suicidal thoughts as a result.
The harrowing case studies that have emerged in this study are a real eye opener.
In the interview, a 27-year-old woman compared the pain of the condition to "hot knives stabbing through me, like fireworks going off inside me, like something twisting and stretching and taking over me.
"It's a bursting of darkness that stops you in your tracks," she added. "I wasn't living. My body was still here but I wasn't able to live."
Meanwhile, another emotively likened the same feeling to "barbed wire wrapped around your insides and someone's pulling it while at the same time an animal is trying to eat its way through you".
In the study, a 19-year-old - who had been suffering from the condition since the age of nine - tells how she tragically took an overdose when the pain got too much, and she was still suffering without a diagnosis.
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"I texted my boyfriend and said goodbye. I was ready to end my life there and then because of the pain," she said.
Meanwhile, another woman urged the medical profession to "open their eyes" to the condition and train their staff in the condition, telling how she had seen eight of her fellow "endo-angels" pass away.
"Some of them have gone due to taking their own lives because they just couldn't cope anymore and didn't have the right support. It's really heart-breaking," she said.
It comes after Pretty 52 recently spoke to five women living with the condition.
Model Carla Cressy, 26, from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex was forced to freeze her eggs as a result of the condition, and had five surgeries - one which almost caused her to lose her life.
Meanwhile, Sinead Smythe, 22, from Hove, lost three jobs as a result of her chronic endometriosis pain.
"People just assume you're a hypochondriac, dramatic or a straight-up liar. They think it's a 'bad period,'" she said. "It's not only a physical pain, it's mentally and emotionally abusive".
MPs are set to launch an inquiry into women's experiences of endometriosis following the new BBC research.
Anna Turley MP - who is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Endometriosis - praised the data for giving "millions of affected women a voice," and confirmed that the APPG would be calling for the government to act.
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