Endometriosis is a debilitating disease that can have long-term consequences for many women.
It is a significant condition that can impair quality of life due to pain and cause fertility problems. The most common symptom of endometriosis is abdominal and back pain but can also impact the bowel, bladder and sexual function.
It is estimated that one in 10 women are affected by endometriosis during their reproductive years.
Educator Annette Evans from Insight Endometriosis says women of all ages need to seek help as soon as period pain begins to affect lifestyle.
"Our research has found long diagnostic delays of up to 15 years, often because women and teen girls 'normalise' the pain until it becomes overwhelming."
Insight Endometriosis is a Hamilton-based charity that provides evidence based information to help women and teen girls make informed decisions about treatment options and lifestyle changes.
They also provide community support so women and their families aren't left facing a significant health problem in isolation.
Insight Endometriosis also works to raise the profile of the condition through The Purple Walk, so people are aware that this is something for which they can seek help.
The Purple Walk provides an opportunity to grab your friends, put together a team, dress up in your most creative purple outfit and take part in a fun event.
Participants start at Innes Common and walk a circuit of Hamilton lake, dressed in purple. There are goodie bags and spot prizes.
"For the sake of our women and teen girls, let's get walking - and talking about it," said Annette.
Entry is $5 for those aged 13 and above. You can also show support by purchasing one of the World Famous in the Waikato goodie bags for $15.
The Purple Walk is on Wednesday, March 9 from 5.30pm. To register for The Purple Walk visit www.purplewalk.co.nz.
For more information on endometriosis visit: www.InsightEndometriosis.org.nz