By Mandy Ali
Over the past few years we have heard and seen much more discussion about the silent disease affecting individuals and their families around the world - Endometriosis.
Social media has become a huge platform for support for Endo warriors and their loved ones to share their stories as well as having a space to learn and connect with others who may be in the same situation. The disease itself can not only cause physical pain, but the mental pain and exhaustion is immense. From the outside most suffering from Endometriosis look “normal” carrying out their usual daily routines, while their minds and bodies are fighting a different battle.
One common topic linked to Endometriosis and the discussions throughout the Endo community is infertility, an extremely sensitive and heartbreaking topic for many.
At the very young age of 19 I was told that starting a family would be difficult or even impossible (this was before I was diagnosed with Endo, the culprit was PCOS and fibroids).
In my 20’s I was finally diagnosed with Stage 4 Endo and my first procedure to remove the adhesions was arranged. The topic of infertility seemed heavier than the physical pain itself – “will I be able to start a family?”
The topic of infertility seemed heavier than the physical pain itself – “will I be able to start a family?”
It’s a very hard question to process, especially at such a young age. I have noticed many accounts throughout the Endo social community questioning this very topic as well as feeling the pain and uncertainty that comes with Endo and motherhood.
However, there is hope. The more we talk about the reality of Endo and what comes with it the more we learn about how we may be able to not only assist medical professionals with further research but also how to help support each other without exacerbating fear and worry into our minds.
Over 37 years ago my mother experienced her own battle with starting a family. It seemed the only baby news she received was that of other women welcoming their children into the world, and year after year she wondered when it would be her turn. Throughout 11 years of trying for a family she never gave up. The first trials of IVF in Australia began and she was offered the opportunity to take part in this with the hope she could have her own success. Success it was! I am proud to say that I am one of two (twins) born through IVF during the first trials in Australia.
Her story and strength alone gave me the courage and persistence to continue with my own fertility struggle. If we don’t share our pains, trials and most importantly our triumphs we never know what could be and perhaps continue to share the worry and burden of pain and uncertainty instead.
"If we don’t share our pains, trials and most importantly our triumphs we never know what could be and perhaps continue to share the worry and burden of pain and uncertainty instead."
I am simply sharing these stories to provide hope to someone who needs it at this time.
Endometriosis and any infertility struggles for that matter can be a very heavy pain on many.
Each body is different. We all heal and experience pains in different ways but wouldn’t it be great if we continued to share the hope and success no matter how big or small they may be, not only for research but also for others who may have the same questions and worries we have pondered ourselves.
Endometriosis brings on many questions and trials for Endo Warriors and their loved ones however one thing that we can take some control over is hope and not only fear.