A partnership between Holland & Barrett (H&B) and The Endometriosis Foundation sees the retailer launch the #EndoStories campaign to drive awareness of a condition which leaves one in ten women ‘suffering in silence’.

H&B says endometriosis is ‘one of the least talked about health conditions’ and one of the longest to identify, taking an average of eight years to diagnose. Affecting 1.5 million women in the UK, endometriosis – or ‘endo’ as it’s often abbreviated to – causes a range of debilitating health conditions, from the discomfort of pelvic pain, bloating and heavy periods to the more severe ovarian cysts and infertility.

The #EndoStories campaign ‘puts endometriosis in the shop window’ and encourages women to open up about their personal experiences.

As part of the campaign H&B’s women’s wellness business Parla has launched an e-learning programme which aims to ‘demystify’ the condition and educate women on how to manage symptoms in a ‘healthy and holistic way’. ‘Take Control of Your Endometriosis’ runs over six weeks and includes e-modules, live webinars, a ‘well-connected and supportive community’ and insights from experts such as Le’Nise Brothers, author of You Can Have a Better Period.

H&B says the ‘the thought-provoking campaign aims to both motivate other women to speak up about their own journey and raise awareness of this lesser talked about condition’.

H&B are committed to breaking the silence around endometriosis

Carla Cressy, wellness influencer and founder of The Endometriosis Foundation, will share her personal experience of the condition via displays in the windows of H&B stores nationwide. “I’m grateful to be able to share my story and I really hope it encourages others to talk about their experiences – and not only that, to know they’re not alone. Like many people, I had never heard of endometriosis before being diagnosed, and didn’t know where to turn for guidance and support which is why I set up The Endometriosis Foundation. There are lots of lifestyle changes people can make to help manage symptoms in a healthy and holistic way which I am passionate about sharing with other people going through this. If I had known a few years ago what I know now, I know my life could have been completely different.”

Lina Chan, general manager for wellness ventures at H&B and CEO of Parla, adds: “Supporting women’s wellness and their underserved health needs is at the heart of H&B and Parla, so we are proud to raise much-needed awareness around endometriosis. By displaying Carla’s inspirational story across H&B stores nationwide we hope to encourage other women to talk about their own endometriosis experience and educate those that know very little about this debilitating condition. Parla and Holland & Barrett are committed to breaking the silence around endometriosis and believe all women deserve access to the expertise and support they need to manage their symptoms.”

Chan notes that for the first time H&B store staff are ‘being given guidance on how to approach conversations with customers about endometriosis and where to signpost them for more support’.

10% of profits generated by the programme will go to supporting The Endometriosis Foundation.

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Having spent the early part of career putting her BA (Hons) in Media Writing to use as a freelancer writer across a number of industries – from wellbeing, food and travel to design and events – Rosie Greenaway’s post as editor of Natural Products News and Natural Beauty News began in 2017. In 2018 she co-launched NPN’s 30 under 30 initiative, is a regular presenter and speaker on industry panels, is a judge of several awards schemes in food and beauty (from the Soil Association’s BOOM Awards to the Who’s Who in Green Beauty Scandinavia) and acts as an Advisory Board Member for the Sustainable Beauty Coalition.