A regional daily editor has opened up on her fight with an incurable medical condition which has left her in “excruciating agony”.
The disorder causes tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus to grow outside of it, sometimes causing severe pain – especially during menstrual periods.
Laura, pictured, has published an editorial on her experience to mark endometrosis awareness month, in which she described the pain as like her “insides being strangled by a piece of barbed wire”.
She wrote: “My body was screaming out in agony each month – it was broken and it was letting me down.
“Yet on the surface you would never guess the monthly all out assault that was taking place inside my womb. I didn’t want to show any cracks in my armour as my own body waged war against me.
“I didn’t want to be seen as weak. I would just dust myself off, put on a smile and carry on as normal. Except it wasn’t normal.
“After years of feeling like I was losing my mind I finally had enough of being told that period pain is part and parcel of being a woman.
“On average it takes seven-and-a-half years to be diagnosed with the condition. There is no cure and treatment includes intense hormone therapy and invasive surgery.”
Laura was diagnosed at the age of 22 after undergoing a laparoscopy.
She added: “More than a decade later I’m very lucky to have an incredible support network around me who pick me up every time I look like I’m about to falter and fall. They are my crutch who are tuned to spot the moment I’m about to have a full blown hot flush from a mile away.
“This month marks Endometriosis Awareness Month and an inquiry on the condition is due to start in front of MPs which will listen to the experiences of those – like me – who have to live with the tormenting condition.
“It’s not a decision I’ve taken lightly to open up about my experiences – my personal life is my own – but I do hope that by sharing the horrors of my own battle with endometriosis, that even if just one other woman has the strength to say enough is enough then it will be more than worth it. Period!”
Speaking to HTFP, Laura said: “I wanted to speak out on behalf of those women out there who are suffering in silence and fighting for a diagnosis. The fact it can take seven-and-a-half years for this to happen is nothing short of a scandal.
“The response I have received has been phenomenal. So many women have approached me sharing their own personal experiences and I hope that by sharing my experiences that if it has encouraged just one woman to seek the help they need then it will all be worth it.
“I just wanted to show other women out there that even with a crippling condition like endometriosis it doesn’t have to define you and it certainly shouldn’t hold you back.
“At the time I was keen to make sure that this condition didn’t stop me from achieving my dreams of being a journalist. And now as an editor I’m keen to do all I can to help raise awareness of this condition so it’s no longer swept under the carpet.”