Plea for endometriosis

THERE’S a disease that afflicts one woman for every 10 in your life. To say it causes pain is simplistic.

The mothers, daughters, sisters, partners and friends with this disease say it makes them feel ‘incomplete and broken’.

The disease is endometriosis and, despite its wide prevalence and often devastating consequences, for an embarrassing amount of time, governments have failed to recognise it, doctors have been quick to dismiss it, and most people have been unaware of it. It truly has been, as experts call it, a silent epidemic.

But in the past year, the endometriosis community achieved a critical mass of awareness, especially on Capital Hill. Several federal politicians, including Forrest MP Nola Marino – forever in the midst of interest groups fighting for their attention championed the cause.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt launched the National Action Plan for Endometriosis surrounded by endo-advocates and supporters at the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick on July 26.

Mrs Marino became a passionate advocate due to her daughter Kylie’s experience.

It was in high school when Kylie realised her painful periods, bloating and migraines were far worse than what her peers were experiencing.

She saw a GP and a gynaecologist, but they made her feel like she was exaggerating her issues and suggested she just learn to live with it.

A few years later, suffering from ‘extraordinary’ crippling pain and a fistula in her bowel, she sought a second gynaecologist. He also performed a few surgeries but couldn’t diagnose her illness.

Seeking answers, she went to Perth to see a third gynaecologist who performed his own exploratory surgery. By the time she was diagnosed with endometriosis, she was in her 30s.

After the diagnosis, her mother hit the internet to learn about the disease.

Shocked by the staggering statistics and lack of information, Mrs Marino took advantage of her connections as a federal MP and Chief Government Whip and directly implored Greg Hunt to take endometriosis seriously.

Mr Hunt delivered on his promise and launched the national plan, which seeks to reduce the delay in diagnosis, boost public awareness and provide education.

Source: Bunbury Mail.