Endometriosis myths - debunked
Bupa employee and member, Katie, shares what it's like to live with endometriosis as she works to raise awareness and understanding.
It took me nearly seven years to get diagnosed with endometriosis.
From when I first had my period, I remember being told when I was going to school and feeling really nauseous and needing to run to the bathroom to be sick, that I just didn't have a high pain tolerance. I was told that periods were just painful. No one believed me.
I used to be a qualified nurse and it wasn't until one day when I was bent over in pain, working in a hospital, that one of my colleagues told me to go home because it wasn't normal to have that much period pain. I ended up going back that night to the emergency department and ended up having my appendix taken out.
During that surgery, the doctors found everything inside was very inflamed. I was then referred to both a gastroenterologist and a gynaecologist. I'd seen three or four gynaecologists previously, who'd all told me nothing was wrong. I was told I just needed to put up with the pain.
I'd seen three or four gynaecologists previously, who'd all told me nothing was wrong. I was told I just needed to put up with the pain.
Being open with your boss, male or female, is really important. There are days where I often just describe it as saying I'm feeling off and I might log off early or just not be as sharp as I normally am. But I have found that having that conversation with a good manager can make all the difference. They may not have a great understanding of the condition, but their curiosity and wanting to understand the condition more and how it affects me makes me feel really valued. My manager’s support not only as an employee, but as a person, makes me feel really heard and I guess just really, really valued.
Men can be our biggest advocates in this. They might not be able to experience period pain at all, or the elevated symptoms that we have, but I think for think of my own husband and what he sees on a day-to-day basis about what how it affects me.
Men make up on average 50% of the world and without their continued advocacy and support in raising awareness for this condition, I think will continue to be underfunded as a condition or a disease.
I think that if this was a condition that affected men, I'm sure that this was a disease that would be well and truly funded and we probably would have found a cure for it by now.
My manager’s support not only as an employee, but as a person, makes me feel really heard and I guess just really, really valued.