Before I was diagnosed with endometriosis I had never heard of it. My doctors had never mentioned it and I had never come across it in my day-to-day life. I sometimes wonder if I would have had an earlier diagnosis if endometriosis was more well-known. There is never a character on a TV show or in a movie dealing with chronic pain or infertility from endometriosis. This seems strange seeing as how 1 in 10 women have endometriosis.
The few times I have since seen endometriosis mentioned has been in online articles. Some have been more medical, which I have sought out. Others have been more related to general and popular media. Three months ago, Lena Dunham stopped doing promotional tours for her upcoming season of Girls due to her endometriosis. This was one of the first times I had read an article about a celebrity with endometriosis. While Lena is not the first to share her struggles with endometriosis, it is still not a topic commonly discussed in the media.
One of the few places I have seen articles about endometriosis is on Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed staff member Lara Parker has been open about her endometriosis. She has discussed many of the painful and troubling aspects about living with the condition. When I first saw one of her posts on endometriosis I was overwhelmed with joy. While it was not a story about the positives associated with endometriosis, I was just happy to read an article about my condition. I felt like I wasn’t alone. Each time a new post about endometriosis comes out I get really excited. I have shared these posts with friends and family just because endometriosis was mentioned. A little weight lifts off my shoulders each time because more people are being informed.
It is amazing the difference an article can make. Acknowledging the existence of a disease, and the struggle involved, means so much for the people who are affected by it. I hope someday women on TV shows and in movies are shown to be finding their way through the struggle of endometriosis. I hope someday that articles about endometriosis are not rare or niche, but widespread and understood. Until then, I will just have to keep writing blog posts and sharing the few articles I find.