Introducing the One in 10 project

5 September 2022
By Fashion Quarterly

In Aotearoa, endometriosis affects one in ten girls, women, and those assigned female at birth. Yet it's an often invisible condition, with many living with endometriosis suffering in silence.

Clockwise from top left: Edie Carrie, Jade Kaukau, Tash Crosby, Tanne Snowden, Nicole Saunders, Kaarina Rangi Parker. Photo: Stephen Tilley.

When I was a teenager a painful period was something you just had to deal with, and it certainly wasn’t something you discussed with your friends over lunch break. Mums would talk, however, and I recall my own mum telling me about certain friends having days off high school due to their period pain. So when mine got so bad that I fainted on various occasions, I didn’t think too much of it. 

My pain waxed and waned over the years, becoming fairly debilitating by the time I reached my 30s. After over two decades of chronic pelvic pain, a long period of much anguish and various specialist appointments, at the age of 36 I got a diagnosis of stage three endometriosis. 

I wish I could say I was just unlucky; however, shockingly, getting an endometriosis diagnosis in Aotearoa takes almost nine years. For some, including myself and many I spoke to for our One in 10 project, it takes much longer.

Although many think of the condition as ‘just a painful period’, that’s certainly not true for many of those living with endometriosis. Endometriosis takes a huge toll on those that live with it, with everything from general wellbeing, career, relationships, and mental wellbeing impacted.

Unfortunately, like many health conditions that affect girls, women, and those assigned female at birth, endometriosis is misunderstood by many and funding for and research into the life-long inflammatory condition within Aotearoa, particularly within our Maori and Pasifika communities, is scarce.

While every person I spoke to who lives with endometriosis had a unique story to share, all of them had one message that unifies us: to raise awareness and help advocate for ourselves and for others, we need to talk more.

We need to talk with our friends, our family, our healthcare professionals. We need to talk about menstruation, pelvic pain, and all those topics that might make us feel a little uncomfortable at times.

Fashion Quarterly’s One in 10 Project hopes to end the silence and encourage those living with endometriosis to share their stories to help raise awareness about the misunderstood condition.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing some of the stories of those living with endometriosis in Aotearoa – you can watch our first video below, and you can pick up the spring issue of Fashion Quarterly, on sale now, to learn more.

We encourage you to share your story with us: tag us @fashionquarterly on Instagram and use the hashtag #onein10NZ and #endometriosisawareness


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