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What Endometriosis Taught Me About Sexism in Healthcare

themighty.com

In honor of Endometriosis Awareness Month and Women’s History Month, I’ve been reflecting on the experiences I had while seeking treatment for endometriosis.

I learned the hard way that sexism is still common in the medical world: the myth of “female hysteria” remains pervasive, women’s pain is often dismissed, and to some doctors, the only thing that matters is a woman’s fertility.

It started at 14 years old with being told that vomiting, passing out, and writhing in pain for a week each month was considered “normal.” At 17, I learned that speaking up about my pain meant I was oversensitive or seeking attention, and the only possible diagnoses for any symptoms in a female teenager were pregnancy or depression.

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