We Need Better Representation
I’m a huge proponent of raising awareness for endometriosis. With more awareness, we can hope to get a diagnosis earlier. People with endometriosis will be treated with more compassion and understanding by employers, teachers, and family members. Young women who experience period pain will be better equipped to ask their doctors to test specifically for endometriosis. Awareness matters. A lot.
The importance of awareness and support
But raising awareness is sometimes hard. We have lovely organizations and websites like this one, which is a huge help. Anyone looking for answers about endometriosis can find a wealth of articles, advice, and knowledge on these pages. Women support each other here, the importance of which is not something that should be overlooked.
Raising awareness in schools
We also can raise awareness in schools during sexual education. If kids learn about endometriosis and other conditions which can impact vaginal and menstrual well-being, they can advocate for themselves if they feel something is wrong. The earlier they raise the alarm, and the louder they complain, the sooner they can get a diagnosis and real help.
I would like to go further, though. The examples given above are valuable, but are confined to specific instances where education about menstrual well-being is given out. Those are the easier ways in which we can raise awareness. I want to take it a step further. I think it would be lovely if endometriosis can be talked about in mainstream media. Oh, some steps have already been taken in that direction with actor Lena Dunham openly talking about her struggled with endometriosis, for which I am very grateful.
Raising awareness in the media
The next step I’d like to see is for creators of TV shows, films, and novels to incorporate people with endometriosis. Why not have a character who suffers from it? It doesn’t have to be made into a specific plot point, but considering that more than 10% of American women suffer from it, it’s not all that far-fetched for a character on a TV show to also suffer from it. In fact, having a “regular” character suffer from it without it being a specific plot point would be more powerful. Endometriosis sufferers are regular people. They try to live their lives just like anyone else, and it would be lovely to see that portrayed in entertainment.
Having characters on TV shows, movies, or in books suffer from endometriosis can go a long way to normalizing the condition. Especially when we see those characters just trying to live their lives and how those lives are impacted by the condition. And if they are supported by their friends and family members, that would be amazing. Imagine having that kind of representation in the media!
Let's keep fighting!
Sadly, I have no idea how to go about getting that to happen. Endometriosis isn’t a “sexy” condition, it can’t be cured and it involves menstruation, which most people still feel awkward talking about. But maybe if we talk about endometriosis enough, championing our cause, and making it a more mainstream topic, the media will eventually pick up on that. Until then, let’s just keep spreading awareness, so endometriosis becomes a normalized condition.
Have you heard about the new tampon technology currently being tested to detect endometriosis?