The Womb Room was conceived in 2011 following life saving emergency surgery to remove my right ovary and fallopian tube. At 19 years of age I was entirely unprepared both emotionally and physically for the life long change which I had experienced. At 19 I was unaware that 3 years later I would be diagnosed with stage 2 endometriosis, or that at 23 I would be told I also have uterine fibroids, uterine polyps, suspected adenomyosis and would probably be infertile by the time I reached 27. I was entirely unprepared for the issues I would come to have with my continence and my bowels before discovering my endometriosis had spread, developing to stage 4, fusing them together and causing me chronic debilitating pain. I was unprepared for the loss I would suffer; friends, family, partners, jobs and the grief I would have to work through at the thought of never conceiving a child that I have loved before they have even existed outside of my mind or in the hostile landscape of my womb.
This is the situation almost every woman I meet or talk to has found herself in, silently questioning the symptoms she has and placing them to one side as life often gets in the way. Quietly struggling with the decisions she has made or will make and the choices placed before her following a diagnosis. It is often not until we are faced with the harsh realities of a reproductive health problem following a diagnosis that we begin to question the importance of our desire to build a family and conceive.
We are often socialised as women both socially and culturally to believe that motherhood is a natural and almost granted part of our journey through womanhood. That having a family is, if we desire it, something we will have. It is rare that we talk about the realities, we don’t sit around kitchen tables talking to our aunts, mothers, grandmothers and other matriarchs in our lives about the fact that 1 in 7 couples struggle with infertility, or that fertility affecting diseases such as endometriosis are as prevalent as diabetes. We aren’t encouraged to seek help and we don’t talk about the fact that black women are least likely to seek support and help for serious symptoms and therefore least likely to receive the help or treatment they may require.
We need to open up space for the conversations about our bodies and our lived experiences as women. I truly believe that we have a duty to the generations of women who will navigate their way through the world trying to understand parts of themselves they have never had the space to learn about and discuss. We owe it to all of these women, all of the girls who will grow to become women to actively make steps towards removing the barriers of shame, misinformation and self awareness that are preventing us from changing the narrative on our lives. In order to ensure that our traumatic or life altering reproductive experiences aren’t duplicated from woman to woman in the way they are now. To campaign for better education, better services and better support for the hundreds of millions of women living their lives with PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis, painful periods, extremely heavy bleeding, infertility and everything in between.
The Womb Room is looking at the future of women’s health. Through events, digital service provision and product development we’re connecting women with the knowledge and resources to understand their bodies better, find their tribe and redefine what womanhood means to them. This year we’re launching a 12 month event series #REALTALK across London, Birmingham and online which will provide space for the difficulty, dirty, sweaty, messy and bloody bits of women’s health we are often discouraged from discussing in public. Through our Facebook group we’ll be connecting women with experts from pelvic floor specialists to reproductive health doctors through a series of live Q & A’s and we’re launching a free online network which connects women with brands, professionals and community. We’re supporting women to live a life they define and not their health and we’re making space for women to build community and support they need to live a fulfilled life.
Welcome to The Womb Room. Welcome to the Reproductive Revolution.
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We want to thank Saschan for doing this blog post for us. if you would like to write for us then please get in touch using the contact form.