Lifestyle

The drug that will help thousands of Aussie women is finally here

And we talked to the woman who made it all happen

By Lauren Sams

Back in our December issue, we introduced you to Sylvia Freedman. Syl's a 23-year-old woman with endometriosis - a crippling condition that affects approximately 1 in 10 women worldwide. Syl has stage four endometriosis - basically, the most severe kind.

While there's no cure for endo, as it's commonly known, Syl knew that there was a drug being used to treat women with great success - overseas. Infuriated by the fact that Visanne wasn't available here (despite it being owned by Bayer and approved for distribution by the Therapeutic Goods Administration), Syl decided to do something about it. Along with her mum, she began a change.org petition that eventually gathered 74,500 signatures in support of Bayer selling Visanne in Australia. And today - thanks to Syl and her mum, Lesley - that's finally happening.

"We are both so excited," says Syl from her home in Sydney. "Even when Bayer rang us to say that they would start distributing Visanne here, it didn't feel real. This day really cements all our hard work."

Syl is quick to add that she's not even sure the drug will work for her - it's no "magic bullet", she cautions - but says that's not really the point. "It's about women standing up and demanding a better deal for themselves and their health. Maybe it won't work for me, but I deserve to be able to give it a try."

As for Syl's next move, she and her mum will present the first ever endometriosis conference in Australia in May. You can find out more here.