Endometriosis is an excruciatingly painful disease that afflicts women, in which the tissue that lines the uterus starts to grow outside it. Often, women have to put their lives on hold for days at a stretch when the pain sets in. The disease can also damage other organs if it spreads to them.
One in ten women suffers from endometriosis. And yet, as Johanna Deeksha found while reporting on this week’s Common Ground story, women continue to struggle to obtain timely, accurate treatment for the disease. “It’s one of the most overlooked diseases among women,” said Dr Abhishek Mangeshikar, who specialises in the disease. “Doctors are often not trained to diagnose it.”
Even if they do obtain treatment, women then face uphill struggles when they try and secure compensation from their insurance companies for their expenses. Instead, the companies frequently write off endometriosis treatments as “elective” treatments for fertility, ignoring the agony that women suffer, and the real dangers to their health from the disease.
“As a woman, who has suffered from severe menstrual cramps all my life, I could identify with these experiences,” Deeksha said. “But what I thought was debilitating pain is nothing compared to the pain the women in the story were describing. The fact that women are frequently gaslit by society and doctors is something I already knew, but doing this story really made me see how devastating this can be to so many women, who spend years quietly suffering.”
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