Last month, to celebrate Mother's Day, the Embrace Products Group decided to partner up with Endometriosis Australia to help raise awareness and funds. These funds will towards research and support groups for those who suffer from the condition. 10% of all sales made during May 1st until June 30th, 2018 will be donated to Endometriosis Australia.
Question: How are Enbacci and Embrace Products Group supporting Endometriosis Australia?
Yong-Li Zhou: Enbacci is donating 10% of sales made from May 1st until June 30th 2018 to Endometriosis Australia.
Question: How much money do you hope to donate to Endometriosis Australia at the end of June?
Yong-Li Zhou: As much as possible, but I think over $1,000 would be great given the short amount of time.
Question: What message do you want to spread with this campaign?
Yong-Li Zhou: About 1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis, many who don't even know they have it. So donating 10% of our sales to Endometriosis Australia is also a way for us to bring about awareness of the condition. Women too often are too quick to dismiss their pain and see it as a sign of weakness if they seek medical attention for it, but this needs to change. Pain is pain. It's your body telling you something isn't quite right so go and figure out what it is!
Question: How will these donations support Endometriosis Australia?
Yong-Li Zhou: Money donated to Endometriosis Australia will go towards research of the condition as well as providing funds for support groups of endometriosis.
Question: What is Endometriosis?
Yong-Li Zhou: Simply put, Endometriosis is a condition where tissues similar to the lining of the uterus start to grow in places where they are not supposed to. The main issue is that it causes pain to varying degrees and in extreme cases, can create infertility issues.
Question: Why is this condition so important to you?
Yong-Li Zhou: Endometriosis is a condition that has personally affected both my mother and myself. There is so much about the condition that is still unknown and up until just these last couple of months, there hasn't been much, if any, government funding towards studying the condition. I recently had my second surgery after trying to put one off for so long.
Question: Can you talk about the symptoms associated with your Endometriosis?
Yong-Li Zhou: The symptoms I got with my endometriosis was pain and heavy bleeding, particularly during that time of the month. I often have to take days off of work because I get migraines and it hurts to move. The typical bloating and contractions were the least of my pains. The pain that would stop me in my tracks felt as if a long narrow knife, which was then twisted back and forth, had stabbed me. My bowel movements are unbearable with its regularity. Sex hurt and was often accompanied with quick runs to the shower as it became apparent that I wasn't super wet, it was just blood. The tipping point for me was when I suddenly gained something close to 10kg in three months.
I should also point out that my endometriosis (despite how extensive it was) did not appear on internal ultrasounds as they were superficial endometriosis.
Question: How does Endometriosis affect you, monthly?
Yong-Li Zhou: Prior to my second surgery and having a Mirena inserted, I would suffer from heavy bleeding and the painful cramps that came along with that. I would get severe abdominal bloating, my PMS worsened (and I mean the angry kind of PMS) as did the pain both before and during my period. I started to develop pains in my hips and lower back that worsened during that time of the month, which spread up my back and into my shoulders. The irregularity and inconsistency of my period was also something I often worried about. I typically bled for at least seven days, buying and saturating overnight and maternity pads with blood clots on a daily basis. I was paranoid about bleeding out on my clothes, and had sleepless nights because I was worried about bleeding all over the bed sheets and mattress (thank goodness for the invention of waterproof mattress protectors!). There are definitely too many times to count the nights I jumped out of bed because I felt a little too cold and wet knowing that I didn't pee myself in my sleep, only to discover that I needed to rip off the bed sheets and get them under some water to make sure they weren't going to stain (I often failed at this). I was constantly feeling tired and stressed, not because of school or work, but because my body was in stress mode from the imbalance of hormones and vitamin D and iron deficiencies I had from losing so much blood each month.
Question: Can you talk about the other issues attributed to Endometriosis which have affected you?
Yong-Li Zhou: Due to the extent of which my endometriosis had grown back, my gynaecologist expressed her concern over my fertility. I still remember being in the recovery ward, still a little hazy from all the drugs and my gynaecologist telling me that I maybe only had two years maximum to start trying for a child if I saw them in my future. In my dazed and shocked phased, I quiet whispered 'Three?". She told me not to push it. Upon my last appointment with her, she stated that ideally I start having a child within the next 12 months. I am 24.
Interview by Brooke Hunter