Two Portsmouth women start new charity to support women with endometriosis

AFTER suffering from excruciating pain themselves due to a tissue condition, two women are determined to help others through their diagnoses.

By Millie Salkeld
Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 5:57 pm
Updated Friday, 27th December 2019, 4:33 pm
Jodie Hughes and Laura Martin of Endometriosis South East .
Picture: Habibur Rahman
Jodie Hughes and Laura Martin of Endometriosis South East . Picture: Habibur Rahman

Laura Martin and Jodie Hughes both suffer with endometriosis – a condition where tissue similar to the womb lining grows in other places and causes inflammation and pain.

For Laura it has been 19 years since she first started getting the symptoms and is yet to get an official diagnosis until she has surgery in the next few months.

The 32-year-old said: ‘It is very debilitating and painful. It can cause a lot of problems.

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‘Doctors told me I had all sorts before this and it was frustrating so support is really needed to help people through that journey. My mum is also involved with our charity because she has been there for me and gone through it as well.’

Mum-of-one Jodie suffered from heavy periods and pain since she was 11.

She said: ‘I was just told that it happened to all women in my family and it was just normal but it really isn’t.’

The pair have started Endometriosis South Coast in a bid to provide more support for those suffering with the condition and raise funds for more research.

Jodie, 35, said: ‘There is such a lot of other emotions that come with endometriosis and although the consultants are absolutely fantastic, you can’t talk to them about everything else you are feeling and it can be a dark and lonely place.

‘It is extremely exhausting and you can feel very isolated. I was one of the lucky ones and was able to have my son but for others it can make them infertile and that is a lot to deal with.’

Both women want to see more money invested into researching the condition which affects one in 10 women and takes on average 7.5 years to diagnose according to Endometriosis UK.

Jodie, who has finished a masters in endometriosis research and is starting a PHD, added: ‘As women we are quite good at just getting on with things if we are told that is how they are but in the last few years that has started to change.

‘Periods are not a dirty thing and we need to talk about it more and get people educated on endometriosis because when I was diagnosed I didn’t even know what it was.’

Laura, who runs her own marketing company, added: ‘We want to be there for women in Portsmouth and hopefully expand across the south coast as we get more successful.’

To get in touch with the group see the Facebook page Endometriosis South Coast.