How to Be The Best Ally to Someone with Endometriosis

As an endometriosis patient, one of the things I value the most is support. Endometriosis can impact someone’s life enormously, and it’s easy for many patients to become isolated. Reaching out to someone living with this illness is essential, and it's not that hard. This is how you can be a great ally for someone with endometriosis.

Don’t get upset when we cancel plans

Flare-ups happen with no warning. If you make plans with an endometriosis patient, they may be forced to cancel on you, because of the horrific amounts of pain they’re in. As an endometriosis patient, I also know how embarrassing it is to be the one that lets down everyone else, so don’t think it’s easy for us to cancel. We are most likely mortified.

Understand that, sometimes, we may not want to talk

For some endometriosis sufferers, life is sometimes too scary. Many patients experience daunting examinations, upsetting test results, or invasive infertility treatments. For a lot of us, talking out loud about it can be immensely tough.

Additionally, just because someone doesn’t complain, it doesn’t mean they are not struggling. Endometriosis can be present almost every day, and its sufferers have adapted to life despite the illness. Some are so good at living with it, they have become pros at masking its effects.

Read about endometriosis

While this illness affects around 1 in 10 women, it still causes people to exclaim “endowhat?” at the mere mention of it. Just reading a short article about the disease will make you more knowledgeable than the average person, and will help us feel understood.

Remember that not knowing what to say is OK

Endometriosis is an illness a lot of people don’t experience. Some of the symptoms will be completely foreign to you, but it’s still ok to listen, even if you don’t have the perfect answer. Sometimes, all we want to do is talk to someone, without expecting a solution.

Help us with daily chores

It may be that all we need is for someone to fix us a quick meal, or hang our laundry. This won’t cure the disease, or ease any physical pain, but it will help enormously.

Treat us like we are "normal"

We are so used to head-tilts, worried looks, and concerned comments, that treating us like we don't live with endometriosis can be super refreshing. For many of us, this illness is present almost every day, in some shape or form. Don't make endometriosis be the first or the only thing you talk about with us.

Remember that your friend always comes back

Even when we are suffering a bad flare-up that renders us unable to move or speak properly, the worst always subsides. We go back to being that easy-going, friendly person. It may be that we just need a couple of days off, or won’t be able to respond to that text you sent us, but we will do so eventually.

When I experience a bad endometriosis flare-up, what really helps me through it are friends and loved ones who just "get it". The ones that won’t hold my grumpiness against me, those who will be happy to reschedule as soon as I am feeling better. All of this gives me hope and takes me away from the lonely experience endometriosis can sometimes become.

By reaching out to someone with a chronic illness, you are reminding them they are not alone. You are also providing them with something utterly priceless: a support system.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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