Episode 56: Samantha Denäe

Atlanta native Samantha Denäe is a former magazine writer and entertainment blogger-turned novelist, poet, and screenwriter. At the age of 24, she was diagnosed with endometriosis – and turned this devastating revelation into a gift, making it her mission to educate women around the world through partnerships with the Endometriosis Foundation of America and The ENPOWR Project’s Endo Edukit, among others. An outspoken advocate for women living with endometriosis, she bares all in educational workshops and social media posts. While holistic approaches have helped her begin to control her symptoms, she presents a unique take on the nature of women’s pain – and whether or not we were born to suffer.

Key links mentioned in this episode:

Samantha Denäe

Instagram

Twitter

Endometriosis Foundation of America

The ENPOWR Project – Endo Edukit

Gabrielle Blair’s Twitter Rant on Unwanted Pregnancies

Tune in as Samantha shares…

  • that she has lived with pain and nausea since she was 12 years old
  • that she was initially brushed off and offered ibuprofen for her pain and long, heavy menstrual cycles
  • that she was diagnosed in 2014, and first heard the term “endometriosis”  weeks before graduating from college – after a near-codeine-overdose (and not being educated on narcotics by the doctor who prescribed them)
  • that she was given the firm diagnosis of endometriosis when she had cysts removed
  • that within 3-4 years, she went from stage 1 to stage 4 endo
  • that she experiences bladder difficulties because of the growth of endometrium and scar tissue – mainly urgency – but that she still needs excision surgery
  • that endometriosis spreads like a cancer, and is also the precursor to ovarian cancer if left untreated
  • the misconception that full hysterectomy or pregnancy can reduce/remove symptoms – and that these options are not fail-safe
  • that for years, she tried to convince herself that her pain was manageable
  • that she deals with pain and fatigue regularly, in relation to her cycle
  • that negative self-talk produces negative reactions in the body – and she’s learned to shift her anger at her body into love and acceptance
  • that she’s come to the realization that she lives with endo for a reason – to be an advocate for others
  • that she experienced depression in the early stages of her diagnosis and treatment – and that she continues to experience anxiety around every menstrual cycle
  • the effect that endo has on female fertility
  • that she has tried many methods of birth control, and none regulated her period and endo symptoms – most gave her 90-day cycles
  • that giving up birth control, yoni steams, meditation, and diet change have been the most useful methods of symptom regulation for her
  • that she’s wary of hormones in food – particularly in meat and dairy – and has removed chicken and dairy from her diet accordingly
  • that endometriosis has had an adverse effect on her romantic relationships – in that her fertility is effected, and that sex can often be painful
  • that women with endometriosis have their own shock to deal with before handling a partner in the picture – and that healing from trauma is ongoing work
  • the importance of connecting spiritually with a partner before jumping to sex – especially when you have to make physical adjustments because of a medical condition
  • that her mother was the most difficult person to explain her endo to – and was against her first surgery until her doctor sat her down and explained it all to her
  • that at one stage she was given chemo treatment for her endo, which put her into early menopause
  • that she really connected to the community through social media, and that this connection has truly aided in her healing
  • that through social media, she connected to other women of color living with endometriosis – and that this was particularly poignant because it’s not a condition often discussed in her community
  • that children aren’t learning enough about reproductive health in school – including menstrual cycles and more complex conditions
  • that the focus of her advocacy is in educating kids
  • the misconception that endometriosis doesn’t occur among black women
  • the lack of information and research on endometriosis among black women
  • the total misconception that African American women can stand higher levels of pain
  • the high suicide rate associated with endometriosis
  • her opinion that birth control is a form of general population control – and was invented in order to stop black women from reproducing
  • the connection between birth control use and rising infertility rates in the US
  • her favorite green smoothie recipe

This episode is sponsored by Embr Labs, creators of the Embr Wave.

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Samantha Denäe has long, black curly hair that she wears down. She stands with her arms crossed, a smile on her face, wearing red lipstick, a diamond pendant necklace, and a mustard yellow blazer. She has brown skin and long nails.

Transcript coming soon!

We welcome your thoughts and comments!

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