The federal Health Minister will today detail a draft plan to tackle endometriosis, a painful condition that affects around 700,000 Aussie women.
A disease that is often dismissed as bad period pain, 'endo' develops when tissue grows outside the uterus, causing inflammation and serious discomfort.
Symptoms include painful periods, nausea, pain during bowel movements and urination, and reduced fertility. Sadly, there is no cure.
The draft report will focus on better educating doctors, teachers and employers to increase awareness and empathy, with some sufferers forced to skip work or school because of the severity of their symptoms. Others say they feel like they have to hide their symptoms, to avoid being seen as weak among friends, family or colleagues.
It also acknowledges that endo has been historically under-recognised among general practitioners and consequently under-diagnosed. For some women, it can take as long as 12 years to receive a diagnosis.
Anyone affected by the condition has an opportunity to give feedback through the public consultation process, which closes May 28.