Instead of getting a car at 16, I got heavy periods and pelvic pain. And, one night, those things landed me in the ER. When I told a nurse about my pain, she said, “Oh, sweetie, you probably have an STD.” (I did not.) I remember lying in my hospital bed, crying, scared out of my mind. I had no idea what was happening to my body. Want to know the best part about that trip? The hospital discharged me with no explanation of the source of my pain. In fact, the doctors told me it was a GI problem, and I needed to follow up with a gastroenterologist.
After that, I kept the pain to myself for 4 years! And it was awful. Some days, I had trouble just getting out of bed because of the pain. I was tired. Sex felt nearly impossible. I couldn’t take it anymore—I had to figure out what was going on. I researched and stumbled upon a name that covered all my symptoms: endometriosis. When I talked to a gynecologist, he told me there was no way it was endo because of my age. I decided to go find another doctor. During the first appointment the specialist recommended a laparoscopic surgery to see what was going on. When they went in, they discovered lesions around my uterus. I definitely had endometriosis.
Women everywhere should know the signs and symptoms for endometriosis. I never want anyone to go through the long and difficult journey I did to get diagnosed. Your pain is real; your struggle is real—never give up.
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.