A young endometriosis sufferer is campaigning for schools to teach menstrual well being to students
Alice Smith, who is a trustee and Young Ambassador for Endometriosis UK is passionate about getting the government to implement new policy when it comes to periods.
The 22-year-old said: “For more than five years, my periods ruined my life. I missed school regularly and suffered debilitating pain. Appointment after appointment, I was told this was completely normal. It was only later that I was finally diagnosed with endometriosis. So far, I’ve been hospitalised, had one surgery and I’m waiting for another.
My condition is not rare
It’s suffered by ten per cent of girls and women of reproductive age – that is 1.5 million women in the UK. But, just like me, too many are waiting too long for a diagnosis. One reason is because schools aren’t teaching girls what menstrual health means.”
Alice suffered crippling pelvic pain every month, before her periods even began, which only got worse when she started a year later.
More than once she was rushed to hospital and had to be given morphine.
She said: “During my period, I lost a lot of blood, used multiple tampons and pads every hour, became anaemic and suffered chronic fatigue. By the time I was 14, my quality of life was non-existent – most of the time I couldn’t leave the house. I was still being told what I was experiencing was normal, or worse that I was making it up to gain attention. I was made to feel like I couldn’t talk about what I was experiencing, and self-doubt crept in. I don’t want this to be anyone else’s story; it doesn’t have to be.”
The UK Government is currently updating its guidance for Sex & Relationship and PSHE lessons in England.
Did you have a similar experience when you started your periods? Were you told it was ‘normal’ to be in such pain every month?
To get involved in the campaign and to help Alice sign the petition here.