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“Don’t suffer in silence.” The QLD Premier talks about her battle with endometriosis.

She’s one of the most powerful women in the country – and she has endometriosis.

Over the weekend, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk gave a high profile interview about a disease that is often kept quiet. Breaking the usual political taboos, she has spoken about her miscarriage and her battle with endometriosis – a painful and devastating health issue that only impacts women.

QLD premier endometriosis
Annastacia Palaszczuk has long suffered endometriosis. Image: Getty.

Despite the condition affecting one in 10 women, there is no cure for endometriosis, which occurs when the uterus lining grows outside of the uterus and attaches itself to other organs.

Palaszczuk has suffered this condition since her thirties. But it took years to be diagnosed.

“I just thought that the headaches and the cramps and everything were normal. I didn’t realise,’’ she told The Courier Mail. “Then I found out it wasn’t.’’

It wasn’t until Palaszczuk suffered a miscarriage that doctors discovered she had endometriosis.

Upon undergoing an invasive surgery to improve her chances of conceiving, it was found Ms Palaszczuk’s endometriosis had spread as high as her lungs.

For more: One woman’s battle with endometriosis.

Although she has received treatment, Palaszczuk learned she was still unable to conceive. After four years of IVF with her then-husband Simon Every this never changed.

Palaszczuk learned she was infertile.

QLD premier endometriosis
Palaszczuk on Queensland’s 7.30 report. Image: Screenshot via 7.30
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Now, the 45-year-old politician is sharing the details of her endometriosis — determined to help other women suffering the same condition.

“A lot of times, women don’t know why they can’t have a child,’’ Palaszczuk said in her interview with the News Corp publication.

“It puts a lot of pressure on them and a lot of pressure on the family as well. Raising awareness will allow women to talk about it more openly.’’

Read more: Mel Grieg asks, why don’t we talk about women having IVF?

Infertility, however, is not the only side effect on endometriosis. At times, even walking has been excruciating for Ms Palaszczuk.

“When I was going through severe symptoms in my mid to late thirties, it was a case of not being able to play sport, not being able to go on long walks, not being able to do a lot of physical activity ­because it would completely drain me,” she said.

“The symptoms have lessened over the years and it’s not as bad as when I was younger. Thankfully, now in this job, the symptoms are very minor. I wouldn’t have liked to have been doing this job at the height of it in my early thirties.”

Annastacia Palaszczuk in the daily duties as QLD Premier. Image: Facebook.

Through her revelations, Palaszczuk hopes other women won’t feel the shame she once felt.

“It’s all about a bit of respect, a bit of understanding, and bit of social change as well is needed. It’s just something that’s not talked about,” she said.

“Talk about it with your friends, be open about it and go see your local GP.

“Don’t suffer in silence.”

Read: Pharmaceutical company caves on endometriosis treatment. 

Earlier this year, Bayer released a drug called Visanne that alleviates the symptoms and reduces the inflammation of endometriosis.

The move was as a result of campaigning from an endometriosis sufferer, Sylvia Freedman, and her mother Lesley.

To find out more, visit Endoactive. The first National Endometriois Conference is being held on 16 May and you can find out more about it here.

Have you suffered endometriosis, or know someone who has? How did you cope? 

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