Endometriosis Awareness Month 2022

Its Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to inside the womb is shed outside of where its supposed to like on the ovaries or fallopian tubes (but can also appear elsewhere). This is what can cause serious pain and heavy bleeding (not normal for menstruation) and other issues like fatigue and infertility. This is the first and only embroidery I have made about periods as for some reason I never connected the dots of Endo being a disability until other chronic pain took over the rest of my body.  I think a mixture of shame surrounding periods and internalised ableism which despite suffering for 3/4 weeks in a month I didnt consider myself to be Disabled. 

I cope with Endo by being on contraception every single day, if I could get rid of my womb I would but we are not often trusted by medical professionals with knowing what we want to do with our bodies pertaining to wombs and their baby making potential. 

I dont know all the ways that hormonal contraception is fucking up my body but it is the only treatment available to me as someone who was in a cycle of pain and suicidal lows when it comes to Endo and PMDD. PMDD is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, which made me suicidal because of the change in hormones and dread waiting for the Endo pain to come around. 

We suffer for years trying to get a diagnosis and when we do treatment is abysmally limited. Love to my babes with fucked up insides.

Upon realising that Im ADHD I have learnt some very interesting and frustrating things for example people who menstruate that also have ADHD are at least 8 times more likely to suffer with PMDD based on early studies. 

Also our ADHD is already impacted by the cycle of menstruation. Oestrogen produced in the first two weeks of a cycle is a dopamine booster, whereas Progesterone which is produced in the third and fourth weeks suppress Oestrogen and thus dopamine. When I read that and realised I was on a Progestogen-only pill to treat my Endo/PMDD I felt completely screwed. 

There is so much research lacking because ADHD, Autism and other Neurodivergence’s have been gendered and only studied in cis men/boys. I cannot emotionally or physically cope with having periods, especially now that Im already in pain 24/7. Back when I was menstruating regularly, I thought my periods would be the cause of my death because of the suicidal thoughts and high levels of pain month after month after month. This illustration sums up some of my experiences and symptoms relating to menstruation.