Endometriosis is a disease that is estimated to affect 1 in 10 women globally, which is approximately 176 million women. Despite these staggering statistics it remains a condition that is misunderstood and methods of diagnosis are severely lacking. One of the reasons for this is that we are still learning about the disease because research is limited due to a lack of funding in most countries. Because of this, on average it takes a women 6.5 years to be diagnosed with endometriosis. This means that a women will typically suffer from symptoms associated with the disease for years before she ever finds out the caused of the symptoms.
So what it is? Well, endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the inner lining of the uterus, also known as the endometrium, is found outside its normal location, where the tissue should not be. This may result in inflammation, as the tissue even outside the uterus will respond to the monthly fluctuations of the menstrual cycle. Endometriosis has been found in patients in many parts of the body outside of the reproductive organs. It is common for endometriosis to spread to the bowl but it can also spread to other parts of the body such as the urinary tract, liver and even the brain and medical experts still don’t know how or why this can occur.
There are many symptoms of endometriosis. Not everyone with endometriosis will experience all or even any of these symptoms but for those who do, the symptoms can be severe and can impact all aspects of life including work. Symptoms can include:
Naomi was 22 when she was diagnosed with endometriosis and like many women who suffer from the disease, her personal life and professional career have been severely impacted by what is often a debilitating disease.
Naomi has had 10 surgeries associated with her endometriosis and has consulted with experts in three countries in an attempt to search for answers to better manager her condition. In doing so, one of the things that she has discovered is that because so much is still unknown about the condition and due to a lack of understanding about the disease the current views on causes and treatments of the condition vary widely from one country to the next and one doctor to the next as well. More information, options for diagnosis and treatment are desperately needed as so many women around the world are suffering from symptoms associated with this disease every single day.
Endometriosis Australia is on a mission to increase the recognition of this insidious disease through providing education, information, resources and funding research. As government funding has been minimal globally, funds are desperately needed for research into the causes, treatments and ultimately prevention of endometriosis. To find out more and donate to the fight against this disease please visit the Endometriosis Australia. Further information can also be found at Endometriosis Foundation of America.
Naomi is also donating a portion of the proceeds of sale of Milk and Margaritas to endometriosis research.
1 in 9 women* are diagnosed with Endometriosis
It can take on average 6 and a half years to be diagnosed
Endo affects over 830 000 EndoWarriors in Australia. Endometriosis costs the economy $9.7 billion every year
As both an international lawyer, and board member for Surrogacy Australia, Naomi has learnt a lot along the way about humans and lessons about life, love, sacrifice, commitment, compassion, empathy, culture, diversity, the career ladder (and workplace politics), mentoring and sponsorship.