I struggled with painful and irregular periods ever since I was a teenager, but I always just assumed that it was normal—that it was part of being a woman. But by the time I was 25, the pain had become so immensely bad that I didn’t even feel like myself anymore. It was affecting my day to day activities, and I couldn’t take it any longer.
I finally realized that this was, in fact, not okay; this was not how I was supposed to feel. This was not normal, and this was not part of being a woman.
So, I made an appointment with a gynecologist, and I told her something was wrong. I spoke up for myself, for my body, and told her in full detail the pain I was experiencing. I even cried to her. She was very comforting and talked about what the possible causes could be, including endometriosis.
After months of discussions, weighing all my options, and trying different birth controls, I decided I needed to know for sure what was wrong. I met with an endometriosis specialist (two, actually, because it’s always okay to get a second opinion) to get more information. Both specialists agreed that it was likely I had endometriosis, so I decided to have surgery to confirm the diagnosis. And, as it turned out, I did have endometriosis.
I know my story doesn’t end here. But I learned that my symptoms were not just a normal period, and they are not what every other woman experiences. I spoke up, and you can, too.
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.