For centuries, vaginas (and thus women) have been viewed as passive and unintelligent vessels in the western world. Their key function was to carry precious male sperm. Because of their inferior role, women’s menstrual health issues have been (and still are) ignored, shushed away and under-researched. For a long time, if not forever, “pain in menstruating women has not qualified as a medical mystery if actually worth solving” (Dusenberry2019: 229).
In 2020, #endometriosis #chronicillness social media feeds serve as a collective story of women's suffering.
Social media provide countless stories of medical misogyny and 'not being taken seriously'. Social media can be seen as women's desperate cry out for help. Social media showcases digital traces of women's emotional labour in trying to make their pain sound believable. Have their voices made a difference? Or, are they simply getting lost online while not getting enough algorithmic attention?
It still takes an average of 7.5 years to receive an endometriosis diagnosis. This means that symptoms such as period pains, nausea, back pain, leg pain, fatigue, pelvic pain, bloating, excessive bleeding, painful sexual intercourse (and many others) might be dismissed as ‘normal’ or misdiagnosed for several years before you are even considered for a referral to see a correct specialist.
There is no known cure for endometriosis.