“Endometriosis Destroyed Me”: The End of a Taboo

Medical wandering, fear and helplessness. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these feelings have long been inhabited by Lorena García, a Spanish thirty-something with endometriosis, as one in ten women in the world.

It all started more than ten years ago when, overnight, Barcelona suffered severe pain during this period. Cross begins a station that will prompt him to consult about fifteen doctors, most of whom will tell him that these pains are normal. “Doctors who let you down, treat you crazy and sometimes even go as far as to tell you you are hysterical… I used to feel very lonely,” she says.

Less known to the general public, endometriosis is caused by the migration of cells from the endometrium, a lining that covers the inside of the uterus, to the outside of the uterine cavity. But as they migrate, these cells cause sores or even cysts which can be very painful and lead to infertility.

Party “From Zero”

To date, no definitive treatment exists for the lack of scientific research. “For centuries, it was believed that it was normal for women to suffer during their periods, which explains the considerable delay the disease takes on,” explains Lon Hammelshoj, executive director of the World Endometriosis Society (WES).

This consultant founded the Danish Endometriosis Society in 1997. A work that allowed the country to adopt measures to fight the disease five years later and as a precursor. And that snowballed: Australia launched a national plan in 2017, France followed suit two years later and is working on the development of a national strategy, while in Great-Brittany, severe cases of endometriosis have been treated in specialized centers since 2013. should be done by .

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Each time, these schemes are the answer to women’s freedom of expression. Gynecologist Chrisoula Zacharopoulou started an awareness campaign in 2016. “It was a difficult task as we were starting from scratch. Everything had to be done”. At the same time, celebrities are also taking their turn to speak. Like “It Girl” Alexa Chung or model Chrissy Teigen. In March 2018, actress Lena Dunham from the series “Girls” revealed that she had her uterus removed, hoping to end years of suffering due to endometriosis.

“no relief”

The reason why this disease is difficult to understand and therefore to treat is that there are many forms of endometriosis: some asymptomatic, others relatively painful, but also extremely severe forms. This is the case of Anne (name changed), a 43-year-old woman who cannot see the end of the tunnel even after eight surgeries, including removal of the uterus. Migraines, fatigue, pelvic pain … The cane-assisted quadrature had to “destroy” his university career as well as his personal life.

“Endometriosis destroyed me. Since the onset of the disease, I have had no relief, it is non-stop. And the doctors still do not know what it is and how to help me get better, ”he At the height of her seizures, she had suicidal thoughts. An isolated incident, according to University of Montfort (Leicester) researcher Carolyn Law, who, along with other researchers, looked at the impact of the illness on women’s mental health. Led a reference study. “Depression, impotence, guilt at the thought of not being able to give birth … This illness has a dramatic impact on women’s mental health,” explains the researcher. An aspect though greatly influenced by health systems Less attention is given.

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(Required / AFP)

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