These Sobering Photos Show How Drastically Endometriosis Can Change Your Body

Women's sexual and reproductive health is still a surprisingly mysterious topic to most medical professionals, which makes it difficult for sufferers of endometriosis to understand their bodies or get a clear diagnosis. Endometriosis is a condition causing the tissue that normally lines the uterus to grow outside of the uterus.

Symptoms may include heavy and irregular periods; the development of ovarian cysts; pain with menstruation, sex, or exercise; and a host of other less-than-pleasant experiences. Estimates say that endometriosis may affect as many as one in 10 American women. But because of the taboo that still exists in our culture surrounding periods, plus an absence of medical training in the field of women's sexual health, many women with endometriosis suffer in silence.

This is the very reason why Thessy Kouzoukas took to Instagram last week to share proof of what endometriosis really looks like. Kouzoukas, who works as the creative director and co-owner of Australian clothing label Sabo Skirt, posted the following two photos, which illustrate the effects of her endometriosis on her body. Read on to see the photos and learn more about the realities of endometriosis.

Illustrations by Christy Grace

"Please, spread the word about endo," Kouzoukas wrote on Instagram. "And If you know anyone with bad period pain PLEASE tell them to get checked for this. And to my girls with endo. You're not alone."

Want to learn more about women's sexual and reproductive health? Don't miss our story on the sex condition that many women experience but no one talks about.