Endometriosis UK
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Awareness

So I’ve been thinking about how much I struggled at school. How many people were convinced I’d fail school and college because no one understood or believed endo.

So anyway I’ve been thinking I’d like to go in to my old high school and talk about endo and the importance of awareness. I understand these girls are only 11-16 and endo can be horrific I don’t want to scare them just educate them. Any ideas of how far to go?

What to discuss or how to make awareness fun ? Any ideas appreciated. Thanks in advance

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I’d do a chat on periods in general, period poverty is rife and so many girls don’t know how to cope I remember being a year 11 and there was a year 7 crying in the toilets and when I finally got her to come out she told me her period had started again but she didn’t have any sanitary products and was scared of bleeding through, I ended up giving her some pads and showing her my period kit, which had pads, tampons, pain relief, spare knickers etc and she took a photo and told me that she’d get her mum to sort something similar for her, in your chat you could show the girls how to build their own period kit so they’re never cut short and can offer assistance to their classmates in need. I became a sort of pad supplier among my year group because they knew I always had pads on me and I didn’t mind because I was in a financial position that meant I could help girls whether they couldn’t afford them or just didn’t have one to hand, if you’re in a position to, it could be worth asking your old school if they’d want you to sponsor a a period box where a box would be kept at reception or with the school nurse full of decent pads and tampons not the nappies the school supply that are available to all girls no matter their situation?

wouldn’t hurt talking to teachers either and mentioning that it’s a great idea not to question girls if they feel they need the loo, because they forget that teenage girls haven’t quite mastered their periods so they could feel that their leaking or need to change their pads, even if there just reassurance visits, let the girls go, because it would help them focus better on their work in the long run, male teachers are worst because they assume you can wait, you often can’t if you’re leaking or you suspect your period has just started.

Getting on to endo, I’d go through all the menstrual disorders, no bleeding, bleeding between periods, dymenhorrea, pcos, endo, etc and tell them that if they suspect their bleeding more than 80mls to see a doctor also no bleeding, bleeding between etc, messy cycles etc. I’d tell teachers to be vigilant, if their female students are missing time off school because of their period pains or heavy bleeding, hold them back after class and ask if they should see a doctor if it’s effecting their education, there’s a lot doctors can do to help, even invite their parents in, I was shamed by my English teacher because my periods were so bad and she ended up knowing I was on the pill at 14 in an attempt to stop my periods, but when she found out how bad my periods were it got better and all I had to do was raise a pink pen in class and she’d let me go to the toilet regardless, whether to cry, sit with a handwarmer on my tummy in peace for five minutes or to actually wee, that alone improved my ability to concentrate and also made me more comfortable because I knew I could trust my English teacher.

There’s so much teachers need to learn as well as students, I’d ask to address the teachers separately or write them out some sort of info sheet you can be graphic with the teachers because they’re adults, I’d particularly target those in the attendance office because they can nip issues in the bud about periods, but be honest with the students, there’s scaring them, but there’s also informing them, don’t sugarcoat things, but also don’t terrify the 11-13 year olds, find a balance.

A way to make it fun would be inviting some girls up and getting them to pour a red liquid into pint glasses, wine glasses and shot glasses and ask them what they’d think is normal to bleed, can be a little bit messy but also fun,

This is a subject close to my heart so sorry this is long but I’m considering doing something like this myself, let me know how it goes if you’re allowed to do it ☺️🤞🏻 x

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Thankyou so Much. The person in charge of pshe is meant to be ringing me on Monday so hopefully!

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Fingers crossed hun, this is so important! If you could help even one girl with her period it would be so worthwhile, keep us updated ☺️❤️✊🏻 x

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Its a difficult one. Pretty scary for 11 to 16's . Awareness to the disease is important. Facts have to factual. There's period pain, then there's Endo bleeding and pain. The difference to watch out for. I agree early knowledge is helpful, help is important but what will the early outcome achieve? Painkillers earlier or treatment? That will help with the suffering but it won't stop the illness progressing, long-term what's the final goal? Well for me the disease has been around long enough to have answers and different treatments available? Yet there is no answer. You can't expect a 16 yr old to have a Histo! It would shorten her life. It is a terrible disease, painful, career and relationships wrecking! I look back on mine, could anything different be done. No, could I have avoided my operations, No. Would my partner have still left, Yes. I did my best, it's been hell. I wish you luck with your endeavour to help young women of school age. It's a challenge, but the medical help, provision of information for employers, and Govt of the Disability this Disease can cause women to lead a normal active life. Good Luck with helping educating these under 16's. xxx

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I’m not saying it will cure endo. But I remember how I felt at school no one having s clue what it even is. My aim is more to tell them it’s okay to talk period. Not to be ashamed of heavy bleeding! That killer cramps are not normal!

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