Record-breaking triathlete and endometriosis sufferer Andrea Mason has set us a fun challenge to start the conversation about this often overlooked condition
Do you know that March is endometriosis awareness month? Let’s take that one step further – do you know what endometriosis is?
If your answer was yes, great job! If it was no, you’re far from alone – despite the fact that endometriosis is as common as diabetes, affecting 1 in 10 women, we very rarely hear anything about it.
So, let’s start by fixing that. Endometriosis is a gynaecological condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It can affect women of any age, and is a long-term condition. It often causes painful or heavy periods, and may lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel or bladder problems. The good news? Once diagnosed, there’s plenty you can do to manage it and reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Andrea Mason is a 39-year-old woman from Blackpool who was diagnosed with severe endometriosis in 2017 after years of symptoms. “I want to help people learn more about endometriosis, so that women know what they can do if they suspect they are suffering from it,” she explains.
In 2020, she completed the incredible Sea to Summit challenge, swimming 38km around Lake Annecy, cycling 300km around Mont Blanc and running 170km along the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, all to raise awareness of endometriosis.
This year, she wants us to get involved for Endometriosis Awareness Month. She’s partnered with Wiggle to create her ‘Awareness STARts with You Challenge’, asking us to run, hike, swim or cycle a star-shaped route on our activity trackers during March, then share it on social media to help start conversations around endometriosis.
“We want as many people as possible to join us to give us lots of momentum,” Andrea says. There will also be prizes for creativity – be sure to tag @sea_to_summit_extreme and use the hashtags #starforendo #awarenessstartswithyou and #endometriosisawareness.