I got my first painful period at age 11. When I was younger, no one talked about how heavy flows and excessive cramping were not a normal part of a woman’s menstrual cycle. No one said the word endometriosis, and I don’t think anyone I knew even knew what it was. Their solution to my pain was either silence or birth control, usually a combination of the two.
When I was in my 20s, my pelvic pain kept changing, and doctors kept trying. I was poked with needles and misdiagnosed over and over again: ovarian cysts, irritable bowel syndrome, heavy flow, the list goes on. I was prescribed painkillers and birth control, but I was still in pain. It wasn’t until 7 years ago that my gynecologist recommended surgery. During the surgery, she found lesions around my uterus, and diagnosed me with endometriosis.
I’ve been searching (and suffering) for years, but I finally have the answer to what I have. My advice for all of you is to keep fighting. If you’re not finding what you’re looking for, go on the hunt for a new doctor. We’ve got this, ladies.
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.