Condition is a blight on lives of women

Patricia Gatherum, Julie Brown, AnneMarie Walker and Linda Glascott at Soroptimist International Northern England.
Patricia Gatherum, Julie Brown, AnneMarie Walker and Linda Glascott at Soroptimist International Northern England.
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Morpeth and District ­Soroptimists

When Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland held an International Conference at The Sage, Gateshead, Patricia Gatherum of Morpeth Soroptimists proposed that Soroptimists alert young women and girls, health providers and the general public to the symptoms of endometriosis and the importance of early diagnosis.

Linda Glascott of SI Morpeth arranged for two young ladies to speak of their experiences of endometriosis to Soroptimists from the area between Middlesbrough, Whitehaven and Morpeth.

Anne-Marie Walker and Julie Brown are two amazing young women who organise the Teesside and Durham Endometriosis Support Group. This is the most northerly support group for endometriosis sufferers in England.

What is endometriosis? It is a condition where the endometrial cells lining the womb migrate to other parts of the body. Any organ can be affected. Each month these cells act like those in the womb, building up and then bleeding. Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as a period, this blood has no way to escape. This can cause inflammation and pain.

It is a chronic and debilitating condition which blights the lives of many young women. About one in ten women suffer from this condition. It can affect all women and girls of childbearing age.

Anne-Marie says there is a great need for more support groups like that in Teesside as women travel there from as far as Ripon and Morpeth. If you are interested in having a support group in the Morpeth area (or elsewhere) please ring 01670 517699.

Julie explained how she had made 90 visits and seen 20 doctors over 11 years before she was diagnosed and treated.

Sufferers are calling for greater awareness within both the medical profession and the general public.

This website – www.endometriosis-uk.org – is a good place to start. There is also a petition to the Prime Minister asking for faster diagnosis and more research into effective treatment.