Endometriosis Awareness Month is around the corner. It brings a host of events taking place across the world in March, including Awareness Week in the United Kingdom (from Saturday, March 3 to Sunday, March 11), the Worldwide Endometriosis March (on Saturday, March 28), and the High Time For Tea campaign in Australia (throughout March), to name a few.
Add to that the increased awareness of women’s health and rights issues globally over the last few years, and I predict that we are at the dawn of a new enlightened, egalitarian society in which endometriosis takes its place as one of the most important health issues of the 21st century. It will be a society in which endometriosis receives adequate funding and research, and medical professionals are properly clued up and trained on the condition. However, there is a big problem standing in the way of that: Men are poorly educated about women’s health.
As a school student, sex education consisted of a single lesson in which we giggled our way through pictures of human bodies, and then the girls were taken to a separate room to be taught about secret stuff. What went on in that room was ripe for speculation between us boys, but I can say with some certainty that none of us were particularly close to the facts. And thus, menstruation remained a mystery until we became intimate enough with a female that we could learn from them. However, mystery remained, and I for one had questions about female biology up until more recently than I’d care to admit.
If a general understanding of female reproductive facts isn’t taken for granted in the male population, then it’s an uphill battle for endometriosis awareness. The menstrual cycle is now covered in the U.K.’s national curriculum, but endometriosis is not. The condition is little known outside of the endo community, and if untaught in schools, then we can’t blame boys for not knowing anything about it. Until schools teach about endometriosis across the globe, it is our responsibility to pass on the information. People in the know have the responsibility to educate others around them.
As a partner of someone with endometriosis, it is my responsibility to educate people around me about the condition, to bring specialist vocabulary into everyday conversation, and to remove some of the mystery from a disease that affects 176 million women worldwide. Educating my male friends about endometriosis is vital for an equal society, and if I don’t use my newfound knowledge to do it, what good is it anyway? If I don’t use my position of having a foot in both worlds to bridge gaps, am I really supporting my partner as best I can?
If reading this you are in a similar position, it’s time to do something about it! Dialogue is needed for endometriosis to get the recognition and support it needs. Let’s make everyone aware of endometriosis this March — let’s get men talking periods.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.