Lifting the lid on a hidden condition

RACHELLE Anderson knows all too well the agony that is endometriosis.

The 36-year-old Bendigo resident was diagnosed in the late 90s and has seen multiple specialists, undergone surgeries and trialed various medications.

But each day brings a new hell.

"No one really talks about it," she said.

"And everyone who has it tries to hide it.

"Because it's a female issue there is still a bit of stigma - people don't want to talk about periods and people don't want to hear about it."

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus is also found outside the uterine cavity, which can cause pelvic pain and infertility.

Other symptoms can include painful periods, ovulation pain, pain in the lower back and thighs, bowel symptoms, bladder symptoms, reduced fertility, nausea, lethargy and premenstrual syndrome.

"It's important for people to understand that endometriosis is different for everyone," Ms Anderson said.

"Young women might have lots of pain and symptoms and little endometriosis.

"Or you might have no pain and a lot of endometriosis.

"Some people can still live pretty normal lives but for others, everything can be affected."

Ms Anderson will attend an endometriosis information, awareness and support evening in Bendigo on March 13.

The event will be at the Cambrian Hotel from 6pm to 8pm.

Event organiser Sam Turra, a 36-year-old with endometriosis, said personal stories would be shared on the night.

"I want everyone to know what it's about - I feel like a lot of my friends don't really get it," she said.

"I've heard lots of people say it - they think that you look okay.

"But the reality is you just learn to deal with it.

"You're in pain every single day of your life, you learn to deal with it, hide it and put on a happy face.

"So I wanted to let people know that just because we look okay, we're not sometimes."

For more information about the event visit

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