I have had issues with painful, long, heavy periods ever since I first started having periods. I saw countless doctors over the years who told me that it was normal; that I was too young to have any real issues; that it’s part of being a woman.
I went to gynecologists, family practitioners, different specialists, etc. I was misdiagnosed with countless conditions while I was looking for answers. But I knew my symptoms didn’t match these diagnoses.
So finally, I made an appointment with a gynecologist and was straightforward with her: “Here is my medical history. I want solutions. I want tests. I want you to find out what is wrong with me. Help!”
We talked and talked (and talked—I like knowledge!) about what was going on with me. We discussed my sharp pelvic pain and how it was sometimes difficult to sit. Even the fact that sex was painful and required weird positions just to happen.
Finally, once I felt well informed, I asked what my options were. We walked through every detail and talked through all of my options. She told me to continue to research my options and that we would meet again soon.
I went home and started looking around. I did a ton of research and found an incredible support group. I found a world-renowned surgeon and scheduled a consultation and finally got my diagnosis of endometriosis.
For those women who believe something doesn’t feel right—INSIST on getting the help you need. It is up to you to take care of yourself and find the care you require. Join a support group (if not just for the support, for the amount of research it will expose you to). Talk to your doctor and find another doctor if they don’t listen.
Find a friend or family member who is willing to be there for you throughout this process. It is so important that you take your pain seriously and know your worth. You are important, and you don’t have to live with the unknown when it comes to your pain.
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.