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"It is overwhelming for parents" - Endometriosis Awareness Week

"It is overwhelming for parents" - Endometriosis Awareness Week

Published at 7:02am 1st March 2019. (Updated at 2:46pm 5th March 2019)

On the first day of Endometriosis Awareness Month, the co-founder of a Yorkshire-based support group is urging parents to recognise the signs of the disease.

  • Today marks the start Endometriosis Awareness Month
  • The disease affects 1 in 10 women in the UK and takes on average seven and a half years
  • The Yorkshire-based National Endometriosis Sister's Support group (NESS) is campaigning for better treatment
  • Co-founder Abi Battle is urging parents to recognise signs of the disease

Abi Battle, 22, from National Endometriosis Sisters Support (NESS), says the illness can be "overwhelming" for parents.

Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women and causes agonising period pain, and in worst case scenarios, infertility.

It occurs when the womb lining grows outside the uterus and creates painful scar tissue when it breaks down every month.

Abi has had surgery, but still suffers from some pain.

She said:

"We've got quite a few parents on our Facebook group, who have children that are struggling.

"My parents didn't know anything about it - they didn't know what was normal and what wasn't.

"There are also single dads that have got no idea - and this is all brand new to them anyway."

NESS was set up on Facebook by Abi and her friends last year, and has now grown to over a thousand members.

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Aimey Bradley from Harrogate is one of them - Stray FM heard her story in December last year - you can read about her experience here.

NESS supports sufferers through live question and answer videos, organising meet-ups and offering practical help, including attending hospital appointments with members.

The group is also campaigning for more medical specialists - founders have written to MPs and hope to visit schools and educate girls about symptoms of the disease.

Abi and other members are also attending the "Endo March" in London on Saturday 23 March.

At the end of Endometriosis Awareness Month, the march is designed to bring together sufferers, promoting awareness of the disease and the need for faster diagnosis, along with better funding.

Hear Lizzy McEllen from Stray FM's Health and Wellbeing show talk to Aimey and Abi about NESS: