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Health system's 'low priority' attitude to endometriosis a disgrace, expert says
Sandoval, who runs online support group Endometriosis Aotearoa, has heard from hundreds of women and girls struggling with the disease whose symptoms are often dismissed as a painful period. This includes a 13-year-old who had already undergone four surgeries.
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“It’s like throwing a stone into water,” she says. “We can’t get to the end of this lockdown and expect things will go back to normal. It’s that whole ripple effect.”
Wellington woman's campaign to stamp out period poverty
A Wellington woman who suffers with endometriosis is aiming to help others after hearing “heartbreaking” stories of period poverty.
One woman said she had to use toilet paper and socks last month because she was unable to afford period items, while another said she was a mum of three so saved the products she had for her daughters......
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“Period poverty is everywhere, people spend a fortune on period products, there’s no funding,” Sandoval said. “It’s an isolating, invisible illness, and there’s no real support.”
In the time it took Wellingtonian Jess Sandoval to do this interview, she had 10 requests from people from around the country asking for sanitary products.
“A lot of messages I have got are mums who are saying: I will use rags. If I have enough toilet paper, I will use that but my kids come first. ”
Other messages come from single mothers, struggling students and women who have taken in children and can’t afford the cost of a period.
Sandoval, founder of Endo Warriors Aotearoa, had more than 150 requests over the weekend, which had left her in tears, especially as she did not have enough products for everyone.
Jess Sandoval, a patient advocate, was diagnosed with Stage IV endometriosis over twenty years ago and still experiences severe pain.
She says, “There’s nothing that holds [providers] accountable to follow [the Clinical Pathway], so people are still taking years to get diagnosed.”