Here’s what’s coming up on Hysterical Women throughout March

March is always a busy, gynae-heavy month in the Hysterical Women calendar, with both Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and Endometriosis Awareness Month, as well as International Women’s Day, Mothers’ Day and, this year, the anniversary of the UK lockdown – which has its own implications for women’s health.

There’s so much that could be said about all of these – from the very gendered similarities between Long Covid and M.E, to the fact that ovarian cancer symptoms are still too frequently dismissed or misdiagnosed. This year though I’ve chosen to focus on two main areas on the blog throughout March: motherhood and endometriosis.

During the first two weeks of the month, until Mothers’ Day on 14 March, I’ll be publishing the #NotNeurotic series in partnership with BetterYou’s new range of family health supplements. This series will explore some of the under-represented experiences of mothers and non-binary parents in healthcare – from stressful and traumatic pregnancy and birth experiences, to being dismissed as ‘neurotic mothers’ or ‘over-anxious parents’ when seeking healthcare for their sick children.

In the second half of the month I’ll be bringing back the #EndoMonth series I previously ran in 2019, exploring more of your experiences with endometriosis. I often think of endometriosis as the archetypal ‘Hysterical Women’ condition – I hear, far too regularly, from women with endo who’ve been fobbed off, whose symptoms have been dismissed, and who’ve waited years and years and years for a diagnosis and proper treatment. It’s a woefully under-funded, under-researched and poorly understood condition, and in the UK it takes an average of 8 years to be diagnosed.

There’s also an important area of overlap between the two themes, so some of these posts will explore challenging experiences around endometriosis and fertility. A huge thank you to everyone who’s contributed to this month’s guest posts, and to BetterYou for their generous sponsorship, which has allowed me to commission five contributors whose stories and experiences are not often heard in discussions around parenting and perinatal health.