It was when Rebecca Green couldn’t stand up when she was on her period that she realised her painful condition wasn’t normal.
In fact, she had endometriosis, a long-term condition that sees tissue – similar to the lining of the womb – grow in other parts of the body such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
This can be highly painful and can negatively impact other areas of people’s lives.
New research from Endometriosis UK, released to mark Endometriosis Awareness Month, shows shockingly low levels awareness towards the condition.
According to Endometriosis UK, 54% of people do not know what the condition is. This increases to 74% when looking at men.
Rebecca, who now works for Endometriosis UK, told MNL about her experience with the condition.
‘At that time it was debunked’
She said: “From the age of 13, I started my period. From the age of 14, looking back now I can see that I had issues with endometriosis. From the fact I couldn’t stand up when I was on my period, it wasn’t normal.
“At 15, I met my first boyfriend, we were together for quite a while. I went to the GP, with what I know now is endometriosis; discomfort during sex, feeling sick, pain after sex, bleeding, really heavy pain…
“At that time it was debunked and [I was] told maybe I wasn’t ready to have intercourse at that age, that it’s just periods, and I was put on the pill. A very common story unfortunately.”
It took until Rebecca was 25 to be diagnosed with endometriosis, after 11 years of painful symptoms.
When diagnosed, Rebecca was told she had stage three endometriosis and as a result is infertile, with only a one-in-50 chance of conceiving naturally.
On top of this, her right fallopian tube was twisted and her ovary was stuck. Her womb and pelvis were stuck together due to the effects of endometriosis, and she needed surgery to correct this.
Rebecca is now a Support Group Leader for Endometriosis UK Merseyside and advocates for endometriosis awareness.
Endometriosis UK provide reliable information, support and a community for people living with the condition.
She explained: “Endometriosis UK does so much. They go into parliament to speak up for us, make things get to the ears of the people who can make
Rebecca stressed the importance of women being listened to: “It’s more than just a period. It doesn’t just affect people once a month, you can get pain on ovulation, it can affect your relationships, family relationships, your career.
“It’s all consuming, in all ways. I really want people to remember that.”
Endometriosis UK run support groups all across the country.
- To access their resources, or learn more, find their website here.
Featured image by Freepik