Misogyny is Pervasive
When I think back to when I was a thirteen year old girl who experienced intense physical pain from an unknown source, I feel angry. While in Junior High, I spent numerous hours in the nurse’s office with a hot pad placed upon my abdomen. I was given aspirin by the school doctor, who mistook my distress for “attention-seeking behavior.” When I conveyed to him that I felt dizzy and had intense pain in my uterus, he responded in a condescending tone that suggested that my concerns didn’t matter. I felt disenfranchised and lonely.
It's not all in my head
This story would repeat itself throughout my adult life. After endless visits to primary care physicians and gynecologists who sought to minimize my suffering by suggesting that my pain existed only in my head, I began to connect the dots. As women, our concerns about our bodies, specifically with regards to our reproductive system is often met with disregard and judgement. There is still a large amount of stigma that exists for women living with endometriosis.
We need better
Back in 2012, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 endometriosis. Additionally, I had a large cyst that had been growing on and twisting my right ovary. Having spent decades in severe pain, I finally felt a sense of validation. I had surgery shorty after, although there weren’t any post-operative appointments for me or checking in on me to see if I was ok. This is common for women with endometriosis. The assumption is that once the lesions are removed, women who have had laparoscopic surgery such as myself magically return to normal. This is blatantly false and causes a lot of harm.
Endometriosis affects everything
Endometriosis not only affects our entire bodies, it affects our mental health. It’s time that it’s recognized as one of the most significant health disorders for women in the world. We deserve to be taken seriously and for our pain to be validated by those in the healthcare industry who seek to minimize us.
Do you know someone that has made a difference with endometriosis advocacy?