If you’ve had a gander at social media over the past 20 days (likely… it is 2019) chances are you’ve come across the hashtag #ThisIsEndometriosis.
If not, here’s a few highlights to bring you up to speed:
You see, March is National Endometriosis Awareness month, and one talented photographer, Georgie Wileman – who was 13 when she was diagnosed with the disease – is using her skills to shine a light on just how debilitating it can be.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to that found inside the uterus grows outside of it. It’s extremely painful and it usually requires surgery to be removed. Ironically though, this often makes things worse as follow-up surgery is then required to ease the scar tissue that’s built up – hence, the multiple “battle scars” you see in the pics above.
Earlier this month, Georgie posted a picture of her stomach scars – dated and connected to look like constellations – with the designated hashtag. She invited others to share theirs too along with stories of their journey with the disease.
“Tiny little scars that other can hardly see now, from the outside they don’t mean much to others yet they have a massive impact on my whole life every time I look at them or feel the pain underneath them,” one woman captioned her post. “A reminder of what endometriosis does to us and what we’ve yet to overcome.”
Another sufferer showed off 11 incisions in total – yup, that’s the total number of times she’s been under the knife in an effort to treat the condition.
“I spent 9 years to get a diagnosis. I’ve spent 21 years in pain,” she wrote.
“The impact endometriosis has on every single part of life is catastrophic. Relationships suffer, people ask why you aren’t better yet and pain sucks away each ounce of energy you have left.”
On average, endometriosis takes 7.5 years to diagnose, with around 176 million women of reproductive age worldwide affected. With staggering stats like these, it’s safe to say changes need to be made and a cure finally found. So, thanks Georgia for helping to bring about education and awareness.
Learn more about EndoMarch here.