Cllr Erin McGreehan
Speaking in the Seanad to mark International Women’s Day and Endometriosis Awareness Month, Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan called for action to be taken to clear waiting lists for endometriosis treatment.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows around the womb and the vital organs in that area, causing many difficulties for women.
In her statement to the Seanad, Senator McGreehan said: “As a sufferer of endometriosis, I know it is a tremendous disease.
"It takes over one's body and mind.
"One deals with pain several times each month. It is incredible.
"I am one of the lucky ones because I know what is wrong with me.
“There are thousands of women who do not know what the problem is.
"They are told by their doctors that it is a normal pain. It is not normal.
"As Senator Chambers stated, they are told to buck up and get on with it and that this is part of being a woman.
"Pain is not part of being a woman.”
Senator McGreehan noted how we have seen time and again that pain is synonymous with being a woman in this country and how we have seen the bruises and suffering associated with that.
The Louth Senator continued: “The current waiting lists for gynaecological outpatients' appointments are incredible.
"More than 30,000 women are awaiting treatment and a doctor's appointment. That is absolutely horrendous.
“Given that one in ten women has endometriosis, how many of those women awaiting an outpatient's appointment have endometriosis but are not getting treatment?
“We need quick action on getting those ambulatory clinical services open sooner rather than later because this is about quality of life for young women and girls who are suffering but do not know what is wrong with them.
"They are told it is all in their heads.”
Asking the Minister of State, Anne Rabbitte, who was present in the Seanad Chamber, Senator McGreehan asked the Minister “to please bring that back to the Minister, Deputy Donnelly, because action needs to be taken.”