Champion swimmer urges people to talk about endometriosis
IT MIGHT be weird to talk to your partner - or your other girlfriends - about gynecological problems, but that's exactly what Emily Seebohm, one of Australia's most successful swimmers of the modern era, is encouraging other girls and women to do.
Ms Seebohm, who at age 14 claimed her first title by winning the 100m backstroke at the Australian Championships, is an ambassador for Endometriosis Australia.
She said being able to talk about her endometriosis with her partner has made life a whole lot easier.
"At the start it's weird talking to a male about the problems that you're having, but to be open with him about it has made it easier for us so that he can talk to me about what I'm feeling or relate to how I'm going," she said.
Miss Seebohm was the keynote speaker at Endometriosis Australia's EndoMarch High Tea.
She was diagnosed with endometriosis in June last year after seeking help for painful irregular cycles every three weeks that lasted up to nine days, as well as cramps, back pain and cravings.
During her suffering, she did not think anything was wrong and put her pain down to the fact that she was pushing herself during her swimming training.
"I never really saw it as something else, like I would put it down to training really hard or thinking that I'm not as young as I was and not as energised as I used to be," she said.
"It's hard to separate the two but I think for me, it made me a stronger person because I had to go through that and race with that."
Ms Seebohm said talking to other women helped her learn more about endometriosis.
"You don't learn more until you actually hear other people's stories and what they go through, and it's like 'Oh yeah, I felt that'. It gives me more of an answer to things that have happened and I'm like 'Oh wow, I've felt that before' and I know that was combined with the endo," she said.