Endo What? This is the question asked by many women when they first hear about endometriosis, and it is also the name of a recent documentary film that aims to answer this question. Despite the fact that endometriosis affects about one in every ten women of reproductive age, there is still a great amount of ignorance and misconceptions about it. Therefore, the feature-length documentary by Shannon Cohn, Endo What? presents the facts about the disease.
The main purpose of this film is to spread awareness about endometriosis and address numerous myths that still exist. Approximately 176 million women suffer from endometriosis worldwide and the producers of Endo What? aim to reach them all. By giving women (and men) information about endometriosis, Shannon also aspires to a “new normal” for the field of endometriosis, including patients, healthy women and even health care professional.
“A normal where women with endometriosis know the facts and can make empowered choices. A normal that doesn’t involve multiple doctors, surgeries, misdiagnoses and years of pain,” explains the website of the movie. “The only film of its kind, Endo What presents solid, accurate information straight from the experts. They answer the questions you have, but aren’t able to ask. They answer the questions you never even knew to ask.”
The idea for the documentary Endo What? comes from a personal experience with the condition. The award-winning producer Shannon Cohn has created films and TV series for the Discovery Channel and NatGeo. She is a wife, mother, and daughter, as well as a woman who lives with severe endometriosis. Twenty years ago, she was diagnosed with the disease, which has caused her debilitating pain, miscarriages, multiple surgeries and misdiagnoses.
Like Shannon, many women go through numerous doctors being properly diagnosed. Pain is still seen as normal and options for endometriosis patients are limited. Unsettled with the little change that’s occurred since she was diagnosed, the idea for the documentary started to form in her head. “She started thinking. What if there were a film to help stop this vicious cycle? A film to put power in the hands of women. This is that film.”
The documentary Endo What? and more information about the disease and the film is available here.