Women with endometriosis are suffering in lockdown says Portsmouth mum who runs support group

A MUM-OF-ONE who suffers from endometriosis has spoken of the effect lockdown is having on women with the painful condition.

By Millie Salkeld
Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 1:11 pm
Jodie Hughes and Laura Martin of Endometriosis South Coast, pictured last year 
Picture: Habibur Rahman
Jodie Hughes and Laura Martin of Endometriosis South Coast, pictured last year Picture: Habibur Rahman

Jodie Hughes, who runs Endometriosis South Coast (ESC), had heavy periods and pain from the age of 11 but it wasn’t until later in life that she was diagnosed with endometriosis – a condition where tissue similar to the womb lining grows in other places and causes inflammation and pain.

The 35-year-old has more than 600 women in her ESC online support group and says lockdown has had a negative effect on people.

Jodie, who has a masters in endometriosis research and is starting a PHD, said: ‘Endometriosis is not great at the best of times but lockdown has led to more suffering as people can’t get operations, have gynaecology appointments and even struggling to see their GP.

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‘The condition also really affects your mental health so being isolated and stuck inside all the time has really made that worse.

‘I think for anyone with a chronic condition, the lockdown has had a negative effect but I don’t think there is anything the government could have put in place because the lockdown is about protecting everyone and I think they have done a good job.’

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Jodie hopes to expand her charity, that she runs with Laura Martin, also from Portsmouth, and support more women with the condition, which affects one in 10 women and takes on average 7.5 years to diagnose according to Endometriosis UK, and is doing a headshave to raise £1,000 to help the charity expand.

She added: ‘We have our online group which has been amazing but we want to really spread across the whole south coast and do more things to help support women who need it.

‘The condition has a massive effect on your life and you need people going through the same to talk about that with. For me it made me change career as I was a chef but I physically couldn’t do my job. Now I am doing a PHD in endometriosis research which is amazing but it really is an awful condition which affects your life dramatically.’

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