QUEEN'S PARK —A bill by NDP MPPs Marit Stiles (Davenport) and Suze Morrison (Toronto Centre) to create Endometriosis Awareness Month in Ontario passed a third-reading vote in the legislature Thursday.
"The passage of this bill is a victory for the one in 10 women, trans and non-binary people who menstruate and who suffer, often in silence, from endometriosis, the symptoms of which can include chronic pelvic pain, nausea, excessive menstrual pain and infertility," Stiles.
"This bill would not have passed without the work of advocates like Endo-Warriors, who have fought to bring the light of awareness to what can be a debilitating disease — societal stigma and discrimination surrounding menstruation and the reproductive health of women, trans and non-binary peoples has meant that many with endometriosis are dismissed or misdiagnosed by the medical system."
Research shows that endometriosis costs the Canadian economy at least $1.8 billion each year, with adult sufferers often forced to miss work due to pain, and youth sufferers often falling behind in their studies due to missed school.
“The establishment of Endometriosis Awareness Month is vital, because increasing awareness about endometriosis and its symptoms – both in the wider public and in the medical community – will ensure that individuals who suffer get better and faster diagnosis and treatment,” Morrison said.
“We must continue to encourage open conversations and better education around this disease, and around what constitutes a ‘normal’ period, so that people can get treatment sooner."
The bill will receive Royal Assent Thursday and March will be established as Endometriosis Awareness Month each year in Ontario.
Philippa Bridge-Cook, Chair and a founding member of The Endometriosis Network Canada:
"Many people with endometriosis have long delays in getting diagnosed and difficulty accessing effective treatment because of lack of awareness and understanding of the disease. The passage of Bill 58 to proclaim March as Endometriosis Awareness Month will help raise much-needed awareness for this disease, and is an important step towards raising societal awareness of this devastating disease. Awareness is the first step to creating change and improving the lives of patients suffering from endometriosis."