Growing up, I always considered myself a private person, which is why I never felt the need to share everything on my mind. I never really told my mom or my doctors about the extreme pain I had during my period. I would put a heating pad on and chalk it up to it being that time of the month. It wasn’t until I was 24 when I finally took action.
It was a normal day at work when, suddenly, my period pain hit hard and fast. Within minutes, I was doubled over in pain. My friends immediately knew something was wrong and crowded around my desk. I just wanted to go home to my heating pad. Instead, I had to explain to them how I get terrible cramps around my period. The pain is so bad, it feels like my uterus is being stabbed. It was the first time I ever told anyone what I was dealing with. To my surprise, my friend Cassie told me the same thing happens to her! She had endometriosis, and told me to go talk to my doctor immediately about my symptoms.
I went to my gynecologist later that day. She had a feeling I had endometriosis, too. She wanted to confirm by doing laparoscopic surgery. Two weeks later, I went through with the procedure. My doctor found that my uterus was covered with endometriosis lesions. I was stunned! My pain finally had a name.
I’m so thankful that I decided to open up to my friends at work about my pain. Although sharing how I feel is hard for me to do, it ended up giving me something I so badly needed—a diagnosis. I’m so glad they empowered me to talk to my doctor. I encourage all women struggling with endo pain to do the same. Our pain is not normal. Don’t suck it up—speak up because we are louder together!
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.