Ending silence on endometriosis
Many women in the South West are familiar with the loneliness that comes with living with the condition endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus and it is very difficult to diagnose. It is common for women in regional WA to be silent in their suffering, but founder of Endometriosis Western Australia WArriors Joanne McCormick wanted to help change this.
Ms McCormick recalled feeling alone with her endometriosis and credited her husband who suggested she do something about it.
“The support group was the brainchild of my husband, who suggested I start a support group to connect with other people in Perth who were feeling alone with endometriosis,” she said.
“Back in 2013 I had joined numerous Facebook groups seeking support and made connections globally as well as locally, however, there were no endometriosis support groups this side of Australia.”
Endometriosis Western Australia WArriors is a Facebook support group to connect women all around WA with endometriosis and provide them with a sense of empowerment and belonging.
“Endometriosis can be particularly isolating, being a gynaecological condition that can cause debilitating pain, employment challenges and social hurdles,” Ms McCormick said.
“People living with endometriosis in regional and remote areas are likely to face additional challenges such as limited services, long commutes and isolation just to name a few, which is why access to support, connection and education is so important,” she said.
Ms McCormick said the 24/7 online component of the support was important as it was accessible to all people living with endometriosis no matter their location.
Tania Tebbutt is a South West woman with endometriosis who has benefited from the support group.
Ms Tebbutt’s daughter also suffers with the condition and said the support group offered a place for women in the South West to reach out and connect with others who know what they are going through.
The group is always there to offer a comment, a suggestion or help of somewhere to go and talk to,
“One of the critical obstacles to women and girls receiving diagnosis for endometriosis is a lack of awareness and knowledge of the condition, including what is normal/abnormal period or pelvic pain,” Forrest MHR and ambassador for Endometriosis Australia Nola Marino said.
“This program helps to fill this information gap and make a real difference in WA high school girls’ understanding of this painful condition.”
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