What is endometriosis, and why do we still know so little about it?
Airdate: 
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 20:30
Channel: 
SBS

Period pain is normal isn’t it? But when you have a seizure from stabbing pain every month like Ainsley Zammit did from the age of 13 then it’s likely that something else must be going on. But despite these intense symptoms which caused her to miss weeks of school it took years for Ainsley to be officially diagnosed with endometriosis as her parents took her to doctor after doctor, one even telling her the pain ‘was all in her head’.  

Ainsley’s experience is not uncommon. Endometriosis is a silent epidemic. Nearly half of Australians have never heard of it although 730,000 women suffer from the disease. So if it’s so prevalent then why is it taking on average seven to 12 years for women to get diagnosed?

Endometriosis is a disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus on other parts of the body like the bowel and bladder. Many women with endometriosis experience pain on a daily basis and this can greatly impact every aspect of their lives.

In July 2018 the government announced the Endometriosis National Action plan to help build awareness in the medical and wider community about the disease for which there’s no cure.

On this episode of Insight we talk about endometriosis, the disease affecting many Australian women that’s been ignored and misunderstood.

Credit

Presenter: Jenny Brockie 

Producer: Alex Tarney 

Associate producer: Nicola McCaskill