Recognising our patients and staff this Endometriosis Awareness Month

This March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, an opportunity to recognise our patients and staff who are working tirelessly to improve treatment and public awareness of the disease. 

The Royal Hospital for Women (RHW) offers specialised, world-leading treatment for endometriosis, a condition which impacts up to one in seven Australian women. 

Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. It can cause severe pelvic pain, nausea and infertility, and impact all aspects of a woman’s life.  

For women who have faced misdiagnosis and had their pain dismissed, it’s a huge relief to find a doctor who understands what they’re going through. 

For Josephine McLeod (pictured left), that doctor was Rebecca Deans, a gynaecologist at the Royal. 

 “She changed everything when I met her,” Josephine says. “On September 27, 2016, Dr Deans performed a laparoscopy for suspected endometriosis. I woke up to Dr Deans telling my Mum I had Stage IV endometriosis.” 

Josephine was 14 when she received that diagnosis, a turning point in her journey with the condition. 

“My experience at Macquarie Ward at The Royal Hospital for Women has been transformative and my endometriosis journey would not look the same without them. I first came to that ward a few months after being diagnosed. I had never experienced that kind of care and validation.” 

Eimear McHugh (pictured centre) is a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the RHW’s Chronic Pain Service. She supports women who are dealing with a disease she is all too familiar with.  

“Growing up in Ireland, I mostly suffered in silence as I experienced debilitating symptoms and painful periods.” 

Eimear had her gallbladder removed as she was advised that was contributing to her pain. However, the pain continued. In 2016, she received her diagnosis. 

“Now, it’s a true privilege to support inspiring endometriosis sufferers like Josephine at the very hospital where I received my diagnosis.” 

Eimear has helped coordinate the Royal’s activities for Endometriosis Awareness Month, delivering cupcakes to the gynae outpatients department, and collecting women’s stories such as that of Josephine’s.  

Pictured left to right: Josephine McLeod, Eimear McHugh and Royal Hospital for Women staff