By Sheena Foster
Photo credit: Getty Images
The revolution will be televised!
Ten years ago, Dr. Tamer Seckin and Padma Lakshmi joined forces to found The Endometriosis Foundation of America. Back then, endometriosis was hardly a headline, and the Blossom Ball galas were still in their infancy. But fast-forward to today and Seckin admits he can hardly believe the steam that the movement has gathered. “It’s almost nuclear," Seckin told The Blossom at our 9th Annual Blossom Ball in NYC on March 19. "The embodiment of women’s movements thanks to the internet, I think is just starting. A big revolution is starting."
Seckin didn't have to think long when asked why endometriosis is finally becoming a mainstream topic.
"I think it’s different and special because this is a big wind behind these sails," says Seckin, 64, referencing the Time's Up and #metoo movements. "This movement will sail even faster, and the action will turn into a revolution by education, by awareness, by women. There are so many women activists; their voices are going to be here on the broadcast, via internet, everywhere. I think it’s politically-charged the [endometriosis] cause."
Outspoken endometriosis advocates like Lakshmi, 47, former Girls actress Lena Dunham, 31, and singer and Blossom Award 2018 recipient Halsey, 23, are just three celebrities who are bravely leading the charge. "They are the voice of [women's] unheard agony and pain, unrecognized disease, their mistreatments and everything that endometriosis affects [with] women," adds Seckin. "They have become a voice. If they hadn't lent their persona selflessly, I don't think we would be here."
Things have changed for the better, in many ways, but the taboo nature of discussing menstrual and fertility problems remains a stumbling block for the movement, much like how breast cancer victims remained silent for many years before former First Lady Betty Ford emerged as a fearless voice of the illness in 1974.
"If [Betty] wasn’t open about it, we may be late talking about it. She did remove the taboo from talking about breasts. Today, breast cancer is [often] very early diagnosed. The value of early diagnosis is going to be the key to the revolution when it comes to endometriosis. This is a taboo issue, a social issue and it extends to the reproductive justice and women’s health."
The biggest obstacle that Seckin sees in the way of progress, however, lies in “the insurance companies that don’t recognize the disease as disease.” Nevertheless, with all the women continuing to speak out, raise awareness, and make a change, Seckin remains optimistic.
“It is these kinds of movements," he adds, "that will change the attitude of the public."
I’ve seen many obgyns over the years explaining my monthly symptoms during my period...but eventually it became a daily struggle with these pain. It feels like a poke here and there near my right pelvic region. I was given birth control pills for the past ten years but honestly, it didn’t help at all. I was in bed whenever I had my period. I was previously sent to GI doctors for possible appendicitis but it was ruled out from imagings…
Dr.Seckin is so much more than a surgeon. His passion for helping endometriosis sufferers and determination to improve the quality of life in all of his patients is undeniable. I remember when my gynecologist first told me I needed a laparoscopy. Her exact words were "I can do the surgery, but if you were MY daughter- I'd send you to him." From the first day I met him he took the time to explain endometriosis to me since I knew…
I was there for hysterectomy but then I found out that I also had endometriosis.My both surgeries went excellent and I feel great!.I am so thankful to Dr.Seckin and all his team for making my journey smooth!
I am a physician who suffered from deep infiltrative endometriosis. I needed laparoscopic surgery, so I went to see my former gynaecologist and he performed the procedure (a surgery which he supposedly does hundreds of times a year) last November. I had severe pain again when I had my period in January and was advised to go on taking a low hormone dose anticoncipient pill. My symptoms came back quickly and got worse in a few months’ time. I went…
After years of excessively painful periods, a serious loss of quality of life, and a series of uninformed and uninterested doctors, Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein turned my life around. I was told I woke up from my surgery almost a year ago with a smile on my face, and I haven't stopped since. Before I heard of Dr. Seckin, I was experiencing almost daily terrible pain to the point where I had difficulty walking, inability to eat, inexplicable weight…
Dr Seckin and his team gave me back my life! Tomorrow will be 1 month since my surgery and I feel great. Dr. Seckin, Dr Liu, and Dr Goldstein are not only beyond words talented and amazing Doctors, but they are also genuinely wonderful and caring people. I cannot say enough great things about Holly, Asiye and Kim as well. They were all caring, kind, patient, and took the time to listen to me and explain anything I needed to…
Dr. Seckin and his staff spared me from years and years of heavy periods and unbearable endometriosis pain. After having surgery with him (my first) I can now function like a regular human. No more eating NSAIDs like candy and calling out sick from work. Thank you, Dr. Seckin!