The Language of Endometriosis was founded by Dr Stella Bullo in 2016. Stella, who lives with endometriosis herself, felt that the issues she had with her condition and a lengthy diagnosis delay were in large part due to lack of communication and awareness around endometriosis.
Endometriosis is thought to affect 1 in 10 women and does not discriminate by age, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Around 1.5 million women in the UK are currently living with the condition.
Despite its high rate of occurrence, the average length of diagnosis is 7.5 years. Women suffering from endo experience incapacitating pain which has a major impact on their lives.
Previous research, including our own, indicates that women and their pain are often neglected or dismissed entirely. There is a perpetuation of stereotypes around women and their bodies, particularly in relation to pain being ‘just a natural part of a menstrual cycle’ (Bullo, 2018, see our publications section).
Our project aims to find mechanisms that will improve communication around the condition, support those living with the condition and raise awareness.
Endometriosis is a reproductive condition where cells similar to those that line the womb grow elsewhere in the body. Instead of leaving the body during menstruation, the cells build up and break down in the same way, resulting in blood being trapped inside. Endometriosis may lead to a multitude of symptoms and consequences, both physical and emotional, the most common of which is incapacitating pain.
Please visit Endometriosis UK for more information on endometriosis, available resources and support.
Dr Stella Bullo is a senior lecturer in Linguistics at Manchester Metropolitan University. Stella’s current area of research is in health and clinical communication, drawing on tools from critical discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, pragmatics and intercultural communication.
Zoe Bibbon joined The Language of Endometriosis project as a research assistant in June 2017 while completing her MA in Applied Linguistics at Manchester Metropolitan University. Since then, Zoe has received the Vice-Chancellor Scholarship from Manchester Met to undertake a PhD in Linguistics. Her thesis project is entitled The Language of Menstruation.