A group of women in the Scottish Borders have joined together to raise awareness about an incurable condition that affects one in every 10 women in the UK.
Tao McCready set up the Endometriosis Awareness in the Scottish Borderssupport group to get people talking about the disease which can cause pain and even infertility.
She said: "I realised there was no support for girls who suffer with endometriosis. So I set it up, and it's purely to support the women out there and let them know that there is a place that they can come and they can talk."
- What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a long-term chronic pain condition where cells similar to the ones in the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body, according to charity Endometriosis UK.
These cells behave in the same way as those in the womb, but unlike a period, have no way of leaving the body.
The condition can be debilitating, and may have a huge impact at work – such as suffering from excruciating pain or needing frequent access to a toilet due to bowel or bladder related symptoms
- What are the symptoms?
The symptoms and its impact differ person to person, but common symptoms include chronic pelvic pain, extreme period pain, fatigue, bladder and bowel related problems, organ damage and infertility.
Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women from puberty to menopause, although the impact may be felt for life.
- How long does diagnosis take?
Diagnosis for endometriosis can take some time, the current average waiting is between seven and 12 years.
This is because the symptoms are similar to other conditions, and women can often be misdiagnosed, with sufferers being told they have irritable bowel syndrome or 'normal women's problems'.
The only definitive way to get a formal diagnosis of endometriosis is through a laparoscopy - an operation where a camera is inserted through incisions in the abdomen to look for signs of endometriosis.
If endometriosis is diagnosed, the endometriosis may be treated or removed for further examination during the laparoscopy.
This leads to a much longer diagnosis time than other diseases.
- Endometriosis UK is a charity that supports women suffering from the chronic condition.