Dear friends and colleagues,
On behalf of The Endometriosis Foundation of America (EndoFound), I am thrilled to invite you to attend our Annual Patient Awareness Day on Sunday, March 10th, at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City. This year, we continue with our second chapter of the Living Your Best Life with Endo series, focusing on Healthy Mind & Happy Pelvis. Endometriosis is a disease of the whole body and mind, afflicted with pain that stems from inflammation within the pelvis. Throughout the day, we will engage you in conversation and provide expert knowledge in fields ranging from nutrition & exercise to research & advocacy. This day has been created for and inspired by women reflecting their unique journeys and lifestyle. We invite you to share this day and bring your loved ones and support network. Come be a part of this dynamic series – we hope to see you there!
Tamer Seckin, MD, FACOG
Founder, Endometriosis Foundation of America (EndoFound)
- Tomatoes, placebos, nocebos, & theories
- What does flow have to do with endo
- It’s not your mother’s period!
- Living the anti-inflammatory life with healthy diet
- Orilissa or not? EndoFound’s stance
- Why was my endometriosis treated as IBS for 40 years?
- Extreme endo warriors – stories of the not so “benign” disease
- Why eggs belong in the freezer
- Pelvic rehabilitation and exercise techniques
- Mentioning the unmentionables
- Effects of inflammation on mood
- Skating on thin ice: Opioids & Endo
- Emergency or not?
- Acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and Savasana
- Getting involved: Government action and advocacy
Questions please contact: email@example.com
‘I have dealt with my own body turning against me’: Lena Dunham opens up about battling mental and physical health issues, as she admits the past few years haven’t been ‘easy’
- Lena, 32, was on the Today show on Monday morning
- She spoke of her recent mental and physical health challenges, including her longtime battle with endometriosis
- Lena had a hysterectomy earlier this year, and months later split with her boyfriend of five years, Jack Antanoff
- She said writing about her experiences has helped her cope with them, and also connected her with other women who are struggling
The past few years have been difficult for Lena Dunham, as she’s battled endometriosis pain, undergone a hysterectomy, and suffered the heartbreak of ending a longterm relationship.
But the 32-year-old star told Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie on the Today show this morning that being a writer has helped her pull through,
‘I think that were I not a writer, I would have no way to understand the complexity and the challenges and the darkness of the experience of being human,’ she said.
Starting off the week: Lena Dunham, 32, was on the Today show on Monday morning to talk to Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie
Outlet: Lena talked about how being a writer has helped her through some of her darkest moments
Lena has been vocal about her battle with painful endometriosis.
At the age of 31, she made the decision to have a hysterectomy, writing for Vogue that the ‘unbearable’ pain had made her ‘delirious’.
Her ninth surgery to deal with her condition, this was perhaps the most traumatic, since it meant she would never be able to have children.
Lena has also spoken openly about her mental health issues, and was candid about her heartbreak after she and her boyfriend Jack Antanoff split after five years together.
‘I can’t lie and say that the last couple years have been easy. It’s been a time of… and some of that has been, you know, because of my own behavior. I’ve grown up, and I’ve developed in the spotlight, for better or worse,’ she said.
‘And I’ve also dealt with the challenge of my own body turning against me.
‘It’s been a time of tremendous loss and tremendous change, and I’ve always thought when people said, you know, with loss comes a lot of gain and a lot of power, I’ve always thought that was BS, but its turned out it’s true.
‘I’ve gained a great sense of community because I’ve been able to write about my experience and other women have reached back to me.’
She’s also found that simply being a woman in the US at this time is difficult, and writing helps her make sense of it.
‘In particular, being a human woman at this time in history and in this country [is hard],’ she said.
‘There’s so much to parse, there’s so many challenges with existing in a body… I’ve always grappled with my physical health, I’ve grappled with my mental health.
‘To have writing as a way to dig deeper to express myself and connect to other people, it truly is the reason that I exist,’ she said.
Lena received quite a bit of feedback for her Vogue piece about her hysterectomy in February.
Before taking the drastic step, she’d tried everything, including ‘pelvic-floor therapy, massage therapy, pain therapy, color therapy, acupuncture, yoga, and a brief yet horrifying foray into vaginal massage from a stranger.’
Changes: Shortly after her surgery earlier this year, she split with her boyfriend of five years, Jack Antanoff
After the surgery, she said, she felt an incredible sense of loss.
‘Because I had to work so hard to have my pain acknowledged, there was no time to feel fear or grief. To say goodbye,’ she wrote.
‘I made a choice that never was a choice for me, yet mourning feels like a luxury I don’t have. I weep, big stupid sobs, alone in the bathtub or in the area where, in a terribly cliché turn, I have started crafting.
‘Adoption is a thrilling truth I’ll pursue with all my might. But I wanted that stomach. I wanted to know what nine months of complete togetherness could feel like.’
Months later, she wrote another piece for Vogue, articulating the sense of loss she felt after she and Antanoff parted ways.
‘Our hearts were still broken from trying so hard to fix it but no longer uncertain about whether or not we could. The finality nearly killed me, and I remember muttering, “But what if we still went on dates?”’
In addition to writing articles, Lena frequently takes to Twitter and Instagram to express herself — which is where, so often, she hears from women going through similar troubles.
EndoSurvivors International Foundation (EIF) held an endometriosis conference in the third week of September 2018, in Lagos, Nigeria. EIF used the event to raise awareness about endometriosis and educate women, the public, as well as healthcare professionals.
Endometriosis is an abnormal growth of cells affecting an estimated 1 in 10 women and girls during their reproductive years. Victims of the condition are usually between the ages of 15-49 years and form approximately 176 million women in the world today.
Some facilitators of the went were Olivia Nwankudu — a Mandela Washington Fellow (MWF) and an endometriosis awareness campaigner, and Amaka Obi — a media personality turned radio host who is now founder of Wives Round Table.
Amanda Uzoma Obidike, regional lead and general administrator for YALI west Africa told TheAfricandream.net in a recent interview that though the cause of endometriosis is not known, there is a theory that its got something to do with tissues deposited where they are not supposed to be during the female menstrual cycle, some of which sometimes end up in the stomach area of the affected person.
“It affects the outside lining of a woman’s womb, harming the productivity and psyche of a woman, hence, leading to depression. Improved healthcare for women through early diagnosis could help a long way in the realization of a better menstrual hygiene,” Ms. Obidike said.
Reaction to endometriosis can be different for different patients, but typically known symptoms pointed out by resource persons at the conference included: headaches, nausea and or vomiting during one’s period, and diarrhea or constipation. Other symptoms are long and heavy periods, menstrual cramps, lower back, and upper leg pains, all of which can have serious consequences.
Dignitaries who spoke at the event included Mrs. Dorcas Shonibare; Director of Nursing Services in Lagos State Ministry of Health, who was joined by Dr. Adeniyi Adewunmi; Associate Professor and acting head — Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Lagos State University College of Medicine.
Majority of the speakers and resource persons encouraged women to speak among themselves and to professionals about their condition as “..early treatment and intervention leads to a better life.”
The event which held at the College of Medicine of Lagos State University at Ikeja in Lagos was sponsored by the Endometriosis Foundation of America and Lagos State Ministry of Health and Rave TV, Nigeria.
Almost 300 persons attended the event, they were made up of medical students across colleges in Nigerian states like Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, and the Osun States respectively. Other members of the audience were secondary school students, advocates for mental and physical health for women, and the media.
Visit www.endosurvivors.org and www.endofound.org to see what role you can play in the vital quest to bring endometriosis-awareness to communities in Nigeria and Africa.