Is this normal? Educating teenagers and young women about periods

Friday, March 01, 2013

1 in 10 women of reproductive age across the UK have endometriosis. That is over 1.5 million women. Endometriosis UK research shows that it takes an average of 7.5 years from first developing symptoms to diagnosis. Much of this can be put down to lack of awareness of the condition that affects as many women as arthritis.

To reduce the delay in diagnosis, teenagers and young women need to be made more aware of what is considered normal, how they can help themselves and when they should consult somebody else.

Symptoms of endometriosis can start as early as the first period, however; around 50% of girls who experience severe period pains in the first few years of menstruation will find this settles down with time. But for the remaining 50%, further action is needed.

Endometriosis UK is using Endometriosis Awareness Week 2013 to lead the charge and launch their ‘Is This Normal?’ campaign. The activity is aimed primarily at teenagers and young women and looks to make them aware of what is ‘normal’ and what is not, as they begin their menstrual cycle. The campaign will be ongoing throughout 2013 with events and further activity planned later in the year.

There are also new posters and leaflets (available to download below) designed by long-time endometriosis campaigner, Kaye Sedgwick to go alongside the campaign.

Download the campaign leaflets and poster

Is this normal? Campaign poster

Is this normal? About my periods Leaflet

Is this normal? About endometriosis Leaflet

Events will be going on across the United Kingdom this Endometriosis Awareness Week as Endometriosis UK members  take to their local community centres, schools, gyms, hospitals and workplaces to spread the message that millions of women worldwide are living in chronic pain because of a condition with no cure which receives very little attention.

All of this activity complements work that Endometriosis UK has been doing with other health charities and politicians to ensure that early diagnosis remains high up the agenda during a time of such rapid change in the NHS.

Chief Executive, Helen North says:

“It is simply unacceptable that so many suffer for so long from such a common disease. We hope that our new campaign launched in Endometriosis Awareness week and our other work on early diagnosis can educate young women and empower them to take control of their symptoms and seek the help that they need in order to manage this long-term condition.”