Most people don’t “get” endometriosis. They don’t get how much it hurts, they don’t get how many painkillers you have to take just to function, and they definitely don’t understand that you’ve tried everything to make it better, and the only thing that really helps is surgery. This means that they sometimes say the most outrageously stupid things about it, and this can be frustrating and hurtful.

For educational purposes, I have made a list of the ridiculous and hurtful things people have said to me about endometriosis, and illustrated each one with a cute yet grumpy animal. I hope this finally gets the point across.

“Everyone gets period pain.”

This rabbit could not be less impressed with your foolish nonsense. Yes, but not to the extent that it puts them in hospital.

“It’s part of being a woman.”
This cat just cannot with your Victorian approach to female health right now. Yes, a period is part of being a woman, but crippling pain isn’t.

“You have to just get on with it.”

This handsome doggo cannot believe his own floofy ears. He knows that I am trying!

 

 

“Have you tried becoming gluten free…{insert diet option}”

This judgemental rabbit thinks that you should have a serious word with yourself. If there was a dietary fix that worked for me, don’t you think I would be doing it?

“Sounds like you just have IBS.”

This cute kitty is horrified that you’re suggesting it’s IBS, when I wish that was the least of my problems.

“Endometriosis can be cured by diet.”

These parrots are chatting shit about you, so I hope you’re proud of yourself. If only this was true, please educate yourself.

“My sister has endometriosis. She has three children.”

You have upset this kind and friendly dog on his birthday with your thoughtless comment. Glad your sister was able to get pregnant, but my endometriosis made me infertile.

“I know loads of women who have got pregnant with endometriosis.”

You have now upset more dogs on their birthday. Could you sink any lower? I am infertile, and hearing the success of others doesn’t miraculously cure me.

“Oh, you’ve had surgery to remove your fallopian tubes. Don’t worry, you might still get pregnant.”

This cat is horrified by your appalling grasp of reproductive science. Errr…that’s not how the human body works. You might want to read the basics of biology.

“Why would you be sick during a period? Sounds like a bug.”

Look how sad this puppy is. He knows that I wish it was a bug. My pain is so bad, it makes me vomit. This pup would throw up in solidarity if he could. On your rug.

“Have a baby. It cures endometriosis.”

This kitten is extremely bummed out that people actually say stuff like this to women with endometriosis. Trust me I am trying, but I am infertile and have undergone six failed cycles of IVF. Also, heads up to doctors, please don’t suggest this to young women as a fix; it’s not the approach we should be taking.

“You’ll be fixed after your surgery.”

This monkey is laughing at the ridiculousness of this suggestion. If only this were true.

“Try not to cancel last minute again.”

This piggo and his seagull friend are just about to turn around and start swimming away from you and your judgement. Sorry friend, my endo pain doesn’t coincide with your birthday plans.

“Why are you always late?

This morose lizard is disgusted at this question, because he knows the answer is…because I spent the morning on the toilet creased over in pain while attempting to put my make up on.

“Bet the doctors rolls their eyes when they see you in A&E again?”

This cat is judging you harshly, and has decided that you’re an idiot.The doctors are usually more concerned that there’s a 30-something woman screaming in pain and vomiting on their floor.

“Have you tried yoga?”

This whale is only coming to the surface of the water to scream about how yoga can’t cure endometriosis, but that doesn’t stop people going on about it anyway. Since when did yoga become the cure to everything?

“But you don’t look ill.”
This sheep is having a hard time understanding why a chronic disease that attacks your internal organs would make you “look ill”. Are you expecting big purple spots on my nose or something? No I don’t “look ill”, because I spend my life pretending I am fine.

“You’re always tired.”

You’ve made this baby bunny cry. Fatigue, my friend, fatigue.

“You need the toilet again?”

This squirrel is horrified at how personal this question is. My toilet habits have nothing to do with you, but if you must know, I have an endometrioma on my bowel which makes me poo blood every 10 minutes. Is that the answer you wanted?

“Do you do it for attention?”

This tiger is deeply unamused by your stupid question. Who in their right mind would choose chronic pain as an option for attention? I’m not that good of an actress.

“Have you tried Feminax? It’s for period pain.”

This parrot would like you to leave the room through that door over there, and come back when you have something sensible to say. Feminax is for mild period pain. Not endometriosis or adenomyosis. I need an opioid to get through a period, not a marketing campaign.

Emma Kemsley is our Endometriosis expert and activist. You can follow her column “Emma Vs Endo” here.

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