Semaine was started by us — Lar, Cath and Matt. Lar and Cath are identical twins who both have endometriosis. Matt is Lar’s husband who is a biologist at the University of Washington. Together, we want to make periods less painful for everyone.
Lar and Cath Lee
Cath and Lar are identical twins that both have had painful periods since around the age of 15. After many years of being told that “painful periods are normal”, they realized that what they were feeling wasn’t “normal” and started doing research into their own symptoms. There were a number of pelvic pain diseases that fit their symptoms, but endometriosis seemed the likeliest candidate.
Endometriosis can’t be formally diagnosed without surgery. In 2013, while she was living in the UK, Lar had an endometrioma rupture in her left ovary and had emergency surgery to remove 500ml of fluid from her pelvic cavity and part of her left ovary. It was at this time that she was diagnosed with stage IV endometriosis.
In 2014, Cath and Lar both had excision surgery at the Center for Endometriosis Care in Atlanta. Cath found out she had stage II endo, but both sisters had much less pain after their laparoscopies.
However, though endometriosis is treatable with surgery it isn’t curable and both sisters still experience a moderate amount of pain on their periods.
Living with endometriosis and talking with friends and family about pelvic pain made them realize that the majority of the women they talked to also had painful periods, even if they weren’t suffering from dysmenorrhea, PCOS, adenomyosis, endometriosis, cysts or fibroids.
What surprised them even more was the fact that very few of these women felt heard by their doctors or offered any relief other than over-the-counter medications.
That’s where the idea came for Semaine: providing a way to alleviate pain that was natural, plant-based and anti-inflammatory.
No one should be told their pain is normal. Periods are normal. Pain shouldn’t be.
Matt Crane, PhD
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT
Matt is currently a biologist at the University of Washington’s Medical School in Seattle. He studies the process of cellular aging.
Watching Lar in pain with endometriosis, he started researching what the underlying causes of that pain could be. Based on the clinical studies he read, he suggested a number of anti-inflammatory supplements that she could take.
Through trial and error, Matt found a perfect combo that greatly reduced the pain Lar felt the week of her period. Lar then shared the supplements with Cath.
Cath, Lar and Matt realized that if these supplements could help them, it was possible they could help other people with period pain — and Semaine was born.
As Semaine’s Director of Product, Matt is passionate about bringing practical solutions to women’s pelvic pain — an area that the traditional pharmaceutical industry still doesn’t prioritize.