A friend recently sent me this article on a new study by a philosophy student at Sydney University looking into how men’s sex lives are impacted by partners suffering with endo (a.k.a endometriosis), and it’s created quite a stir.
I get it. As someone who as endured endo and adenomyosis through my entire adult life, and a good 15 years of it going undetected (let alone not even knowing there was a name for it), it’s tempting to think, “forks to that!”
When there is so little known about what, why and how women get endo in the first place let alone the battle to have the medical profession and society in general understand the implications on women suffering through years of excruciating pain, depression, infertility, painful sex and the financial and social implications around jobs/work/sick leave, families, friends, social activities, relationships and partners, all the while keeping it hushed because quite frankly, it is NOT a sexy topic, then it’s easy to feel irate.
When endo is shrouded in some dark-age mystery of “women’s problems,” why is the one, desperately needed spotlight suddenly flashed on the impacts for MEN?
But I’m open. And I’m listening. And I think why not? Why not bring men into the picture? Because the fact is it DOES impact on men. And those men supporting their wives and partners don’t know what to do, because no one is talking about it.
Endometriosis, for women, men and society at large, needs to be talked about.
These are some facts from my e-book, Beyond PMS – Understanding Endometriosis:
- 1 in 10 women suffer from endo.
- There’s a delay in diagnosis of between 7-10 years.
- 35-50% of women suffering some form of infertility and/or pelvic pain knowingly or unknowingly have endo.
- Average cost of endometriosis (AUD$) per woman per year:
- Total = $12K
- Lost work productivity = $8K
- Direct health care costs = $4K
- Average yearly cost of endometriosis on Australian society as a whole: $7.7 billion:
- Approx. $5.2 billion relates to loss of work productivity
- Approx. $2.5 billion relates directly to health care costs*
*In comparison, diabetes, considered one of the most targeted chronic conditions in Australia, costs just $1 billion annually in direct health care costs compared with Endo’s $2.5 billion.
These stats relate to women. But it’s easy to see the knock-on effects. Many of those women have partners who are also suffering through infertility, and yes, a non-existant sex life. That’s a real issue for couples. And it broadens out to show how government, the medical field and private enterprise aren’t even seeing the bigger financial cost of remaining ignorant to the impacts on business and the economy.
And unless we start understanding the seriousness of the condition, the desperation of those women suffering from it, and that it IS an issue that society as a whole needs to address, then it will stay stuck in the dark ages as a “women’s issue.”
And men will continue to stay silent and awkward, not knowing how to handle whatever it is their partner is going through and not knowing how to help or vocalize the knock on effects on their lives and yes, on their sex lives.
Endometriosis is chronic, seriously misunderstood and needs a lot more attention. So the broader the conversation and the more we bring in those people suffering on the periphery, the better chance we have in increasing awareness, funding, research and solutions.
And to all those wonderful men out there who DO understand and support their partners, wives and girlfriends, thank you.
Kate is a qualified naturopath who is passionate about helping women heal from hormonal havoc and inspiring women to know their own power, worth and wisdom.
Kate offers one-on-one Skype consults for irregular cycles, PMS and period pain, endometriosis, PCOS, peri-menopause, mood swings, fatigue and mental and emotional stress.
Simply drop me an email to see how I can help you!