The DC Voice

Why Are Women Still Suffering in Silence?

The older I get, the more I notice the lack of communication between families and friends. More specifically, the lack of communication between women. I began taking the initiative to reach out to the women around me to get answers for how many of us are suffering in silence in regard to feminine health. In my search, I learned it was more of us than I ever could have imagined. I also discovered the hesitancy in some of my friends to even talk about it. 

Statistically speaking, thirty percent of women are forced to miss work because of menstrual pain according to a survey conducted by Self magazine. It is also estimated by UCLA Health that between ten and twenty percent of women will suffer from Endometriosis, a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. Even more shocking, one in 10 women suffer from some form of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. 80 percent of women will have some encounter with uterine fibroids by age 50! With all of these facts, it is insane that women do not talk to each other about the problems we experience. It’s even more mind-blowing that a lot of women haven’t even heard of these conditions. 

In my experience, the older women get, the more open they are about discussing their own feminine issues. However, they do not consistently share the knowledge with their daughters. I did not learn that endometriosis and uterine fibroids ran in my family until fairly recently, despite having my period for almost 15 years! While I am thankful that I am naturally very inquisitive about any and all changes to my health, I constantly came across horror stories of women that waited too late to ask their families and visit a doctor. There is even a commercial about a woman in an OB/GYN office that is afraid to discuss her endometriosis symptoms even with the doctor!

We need to open the lines of communication between women. The sooner we start talking to our sisters and daughters about our bodies, the faster they’ll be able to distinguish the signs and symptoms of what could be a life or death scenario. Women having the comfort at home to talk about their concerns will, without a doubt, make them more comfortable to voice their problems among doctors. While endometriosis and fibroids do not currently have non-invasive cures, the more of us that come forward, the better our treatment options will become. 

If you are suffering from endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids, or any other feminine health concerns, please consult a doctor. Also, find an online community to talk too. I like to live as holistically as possible so I found people who were teaching how to aid treatment by changing eating habits. However, know when to say when. You can eat all the herbs and vegetables you want, but if symptoms aren’t getting better, you’re only doing yourself a disservice. Also, DO NOT start a treatment plan or even a diet without consulting a licensed professional. Here are my favorite IG accounts that focus on feminine health:

Nerissa Nefertiri

Coach Gessie

Chef Ahki

 

Sources:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.self.com/story/women-say-period-pain-affects-ability-to-work/amp

http://obgyn.ucla.edu/endometriosis

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome

 

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