Illustrating Endometriosis #IamOneInTen

collage illustration showing the mental and physical toll of endometriosis
Science, health and medicine are a huge area of fascination for me and also a subject that I used to illustrate for magazines many years ago, when I worked in paint and collage. 
Last year, a post from the AOI (Association of Illustrators) appeared in my feed about the Global Healthcare Illustration Awards. It seemed a good opportunity to try and reconnect with this part of my distant past in digital form, ie. without getting my hands dirty! The brief was to illustrate a health or medical issue, mental or physical, from a list of options provided. The fast-approaching deadline was the rocket fuel I needed to produce something quickly, without too much of the angst, procrastination and savoury snacks that usually accompany conceptual work. My list of ‘a million projects I have started in the past’ showed that I’d already written a great deal about endometriosis. It seemed the right time to turn this into an image.
Endometriosis is a condition where cells similar to the lining of the womb grow elsewhere in the body and are subject to the same hormonal effects as the endometrium, causing varying symptoms such as chronic pain, fatigue, ovarian cysts and adhesions.
One in ten women suffer from endometriosis. There is no cure. The condition takes an average of 8 years to diagnose and affects as many women as diabetes and asthma, but has not received the same level of attention or funding. This image illustrates the physical and mental toll of endometriosis – a Venn diagram of pain management, physical symptoms, surgery, mental health, infertility.
March is Endometriosis Awareness month. If you or someone you know is suffering symptoms, please see your GP or Endometriosis UK for information and support. You may realise by this point that #IamOneInTen also and struggled with endometriosis for many years. I’ll say more about that another time but, for now, here’s my illustration.
#EndotheStigma #EndometriosisAwarenessMonth #BreaktheTaboo #EndometriosisActionMonth
collage illustration showing the link between endometriosis and infertility

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