The endless battle against Endometriosis


Courtney Schiffke

Courtney Schiffke recovers in hospital after surgery for endometriosis removal.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt released a $9.5 million funding boost for five different research projects for Endometriosis last week.

Mr Hunt’s media release tackles the issue with the individuality of the disorder, making it difficult for researchers to understand where the Endometriosis comes from and what exactly is causing its growth. A diagnosis for Endometriosis can take anywhere from five to 10 years.

“The Government is profoundly committed to tackling this often misunderstood and crippling condition,” Mr Hunt said. “It often leads to severe chronic pain and in some cases, compromised fertility and sexual function.”

This is a major step and a grasp for hope for women across Australia. In the last week, popular YouTuber and Victoria’s Secret model Romee Strijd announced her pregnancy to partner of 10 years, Laurens van Leeuwen.

The news comes after the supermodel was told she may not be able to conceive due to her Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which is a disorder similar to Endometriosis. Ms Strijd was diagnosed two years ago after not receiving a period for around seven years.

In this podcast I spoke with University of the Sunshine Coast student Courtney Schiffke who is one of many who suffer with the disorder and has spent many years trying to come to a conclusion as to how she can combat the issue and still live a normal life.

Ms Schiffke battled through up to four years of medical appointments, psychology, contraceptive struggles, work issues and self-blame before receiving results that left her feeling multiple emotions at once.

Approximately 176 million women suffer from Endometriosis and similar hormonal disorders across the world. Due to no current cure, sufferers of the disorder are typically put onto the contraceptive pill, also known as the mini pill, to control and maintain the pain and growth of the Endometriosis. Not only is this disorder emotionally crippling but it affects all aspects of a woman’s life.

Endometriosis causes chronic pain for its victims, but is also known for causing infertility as the disorder attacks the ovaries and other important organs. Fatigue, internal inflammation, lesions, scars and constant agony are some of the many symptoms.

Along with a life of pain, Endometriosis also brings a lot of mental health issues. Victims of the disorder struggle to reach out due to a lack of support with the condition and can sometimes be referred to psychologists or clinical psychologists as a way to find out if the pain is a mental health problem brought on by childhood traumas or other traumas.

This podcast is designed to help women and girls feel less alone during their journey with Endometriosis and better understand the individuality of the disorder. If you have been battling constant pain with menstruation and/or ovulation, please seek medical advice immediately.