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is a collection of poems about endometriosis, a debilitating condition affecting one in ten women, with an average diagnosis time of seven years from onset of symptoms.

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue lining the uterus, the endometrium, grows in other areas of the body, typically over ovaries, fallopian tubes and in pelvic tissue. During menstruation, the endometrium in the uterus is shed. The endometrial cells that have grown outside the uterus can’t be shed, causing pain, infertility and adhesions.

It’s a chronic condition with no known cause or cure. Diagnosis is by laparoscopy. Treatment is with medication, surgery or both. I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis at 31, which had been masked by the contraceptive pill I was prescribed for heavy painful periods. After laparoscopies, removal of recurring endometriomas and finding the right combination of medication, mine is currently manageable.

And so these 19 poems, thanks to Brenda and Stephen Matthews of Ginninderra Press, explore different aspects of endometriosis, mixing my own experience with those of others, which I hope will help to raise awareness of the condition, albeit a little.

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