Crucial endometriosis program in SA gets funding
Girls in high schools across the state are about to get a pep talk on period pain, thanks to a long-awaited funding commitment.
Female Year 9 and 10 students at 80 public and private schools will take part in the Periods, Pain and Endometriosis - or PPEP - Talk program.
It aims to inform young women about when to seek medical advice for period pain and raise awareness of endometriosis, a gynaecological disease that affects one in 10 women and can cause pain, nausea, fatigue, organ damage and infertility.
Authorities hope to avoid years of pain by slashing the average nine years that patients wait for a diagnosis. Delays often occur because symptoms are mistaken for digestive complaints or downplayed as "normal" period pain.
The state and federal governments have committed $140,000 each to deliver the PPEP Talk in Adelaide, Port Lincoln, Port Augusta, Port Pirie and Mt Gambier.
This is quite shocking to people. This is me. This is endometriosis. I never intended to share these photos hence why I'm naked, but my god I can't believe the amount of DM's I've received from girls who have endo too and feel alone. The left is my stomach 3 weeks after a ruptured cyst (5 weeks ago). The right is me now, on a drug called "synarel" that has stopped all my hormones and sent me into menopause at the age of 27. My upcoming trip to Greece along with this drug is in hopes to get me prepped and in the best condition both physically and mentally for an operation I'm receiving in late August. Endo is no joke. I'll be operated on for 7+ hours and hospitalised for a week. Please, spread the word about endo. And If you know anyone with bad period pain PLEASE tell them to get checked for this. And to my girls with endo.. you're not alone ❤️
Mercedes College Year 10 students Clementine and Amelie had not heard of the debilitating condition until a presentation from Endometriosis Australia at their school.
"I didn't realise how big it was - a lot of people have it but no one really talks about it," Amelie, 16, said. Classmate Indya said her mother grappled with endometriosis when she was young and when trying to conceive.
"You shouldn't feel alone because there are other people going through it," she said.
The program will be delivered by the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia. Board member and teacher Libby Parker said it would be "fun, informative … and get girls talking to their peers, parents and doctors".
Health Minister Stephen Wade said it would help students "recognise when … symptoms are not normal and where to go for advice". It follows a trial in 10 schools last year that reached 520 girls.
The Advertiser's #Engage4ChangeSA campaign has been lobbying to expand the program to more schools since first reporting on the trial in April 2017.
The Federal Government has committed $4.7 million to improve awareness, research, diagnosis and treatment.