QUEEN’S PARK — NDP MPPs Marit Stiles (Davenport) and Suze Morrison (Toronto Centre) have introduced a bill to make the month of March Endometriosis Awareness Month in Ontario, to draw public attention to the common, yet often misunderstood, disease.
Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease that affects one in 10 women, trans and non-binary people who menstruate, and can cause debilitating symptoms and conditions, including chronic pelvic pain, nausea, excessive menstrual pain and infertility.
“Societal shame and stigma around menstruation and women, trans and non-binary individuals’ reproductive health means many people with endometriosis often suffer for years before seeking help, and are dismissed or misdiagnosed by the medical system,” Stiles said.
Endometriosis can negatively affect one’s quality of life and self-esteem. Research shows that endometriosis costs the Canadian economy $1.8 billion each year, with adult sufferers often forced to miss work due to pain, and youth sufferers often falling behind in their studies due to missing school.
“Increasing awareness about endometriosis and its symptoms – both in the wider public and in the medical community – is vital to ensuring individuals who suffer get better and faster diagnosis and treatment,” Morrison said.
“We need to encourage open conversations and better education around this disease, and around what constitutes a ‘normal’ period.”
Stiles and Morrison tabled their bill in the legislature on Wednesday.