I remember being so excited the first time I got my period. I felt like I was finally growing up and becoming a woman. But I quickly became unexcited, because with my period came pelvic pain.
What I experienced was different from anything my friends talked about. And as the years went on, my period pain got worse and worse. But everyone’s reactions were always the same—they said my terrible cramps were normal. But deep down, I knew something was wrong.
Then, one day, I learned about endometriosis. All of the symptoms matched up exactly with what I’d experienced since I’d gotten my period. Learning about the disease moved me to finally get real with my gynecologist. I left out no details about my painful periods and my constant pelvic pain.
My gynecologist scheduled a laparoscopy. It confirmed that I had endometriosis. I remember being so happy, calling my mom and crying because I felt vindicated. After all of those years of being told my pain was normal, I finally had confirmation it wasn’t.
My journey has been exhausting, but being honest with myself and my doctors has made all the difference. It’s so much worse to sit silently in pain than to speak up for yourself and your health. We all have the right to be heard and respected.
This story was submitted by a real woman and reflects her personal experience. It does not reflect AbbVie’s thoughts, opinions, or beliefs. Before making any changes to your treatment or lifestyle, consult with a physician.