Women With Endometriosis Told To 'Suck It Up'

"This is part of being a woman."

Women With Endometriosis Told To 'Suck It Up' Allure

Endometriosis brings horror stories of women forced to have hysterectomies too young, being told to suck up the pain and waiting decades for a diagnosis, Federal Parliament has heard.

In some cases women are told period pain is just part of being a woman and are seen as being the "sick person" in the office, Labor MP Gai Brodtmann says.

"(Women are) told basically suck it up because period pain is difficult and painful and you have to get on with it - this is part of being a woman," she said.

The Canberra MP spoke on a motion to raise the profile of the condition put to parliament by Liberal MP Nola Marino, who has experienced the debilitating condition through her daughter Kylie.

It took Kylie 20 years to be diagnosed with the condition, while the average diagnosis time is seven-to-10 years.

"What she suffered during that time is what thousands of women around Australia are suffering right now and have suffered for so many years," Ms Marino said.

Australia's first national endometriosis plan is due to be released in July and includes a focus on public awareness and education, clinical management and care, and research.

Ms Marino urged women and GPs to take their symptoms seriously and for GPs and gynaecologists to do the same.

"Take these women seriously, please," she urged.

Labor MP Mike Freelander, a doctor, said his daughter suffered from endometriosis for years before she was diagnosed.

"As a father I feel guilty that I tended to downplay her complaints, and as a doctor I feel even more guilty that I downplayed her complaints and her symptoms, and it's made me realise what an important issue this is," he said.

Liberal Julian Leeser revealed his wife Joanna had undergone multiple surgeries for the condition, and said husbands and partners love and support those women and "indeed we think you're amazing".

Giving his first speech since returning to parliament after paternity leave, Mr Leeser said he knew the effects endometriosis could have on fertility and the importance of a correct diagnosis and specialty care.

"My message to women experiencing period pain is don't suffer in silence. Get it checked and ask about endometriosis and ask and ask again," he said.

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