New research has found that 41 percent of Australians have never heard of endometriosis, a debilitating disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the reproductive organs causing debilitating pain and infertility.
The survey of 1000 people – commissioned by Red Agency in partnership with Endometriosis Australia – found a significant lack of awareness despite the fact that 700,000 Australian women will suffer from the disease in their lifetime.
Donna Ciccia, Director and Co-Founder of Endometriosis Australia, says that this is in part due to the perceived nature of the symptoms.
“Endometriosis and women’s gynaecological health is a bit of a taboo topic with the wider community we would like to change this,” she told Women’s Health.
“Many associate endometriosis only with bad period pain and many don’t like to discuss periods, endometriosis is so much more than that, it can affect every facet of their lives. As a community have normalised period pain, if your mother suffer with period pain, we put this down to just being the family curse but period pain is not normal. This is an invisible and insidious disease that hugely impacts on women's potential and their family’s lives, it is truly a community issue.”
That's why Endometriosis Australia believes that these results reinforce the need for additional government funding for awareness and education campaigns as well as much needed research into a cure. The Australian Government recently announced the first-ever National Action Plan to combat endometriosis and have committed to providing $2.5 million in medical research.
But Donna says that we can all play our part in improving awareness around endometriosis.
"Keep talking, help us break down the stigma and help us to create awareness. If you know 10 women then you know endometriosis."