Hear from women living with endometriosis

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It wasn’t just painful periods

One day, when I was 24, I was heading into work for an early morning meeting. I had started my period that morning and, although I was not feeling the best, it was manageable. I sat down for our meeting and, about 15 minutes later, I felt like I had been hit by a train. I had horrible pelvic and back pain. I had hot flashes, nausea, and I was sweating and shaking uncontrollably.

I told my manager that I needed to step outside for some fresh air and quickly ran for the exit. I sat in my car with the windows down hoping to find some relief. The next thing I remember, my coworkers were surrounding me in my car, and my manager was on the phone with the ambulance. I had blacked out.

I was transported to the hospital, where doctors did routine tests and checked for pregnancy, STDs, and appendicitis. All the tests came back negative, and the doctors diagnosed me with painful periods. As the doctors left the room to prepare my discharge paperwork, a nurse knocked on the door.

She introduced herself, and said she didn’t mean to intrude, but she had heard my symptoms and hoped that she could help me. She told me that what I was describing sounded a lot like what her daughter had: endometriosis. She gave me the contact information for the gynecologist who had helped her daughter. That week, I made an appointment with the same gynecologist.

This gynecologist met with me right away and, within a month, scheduled me for laparoscopic surgery. After my surgery, she diagnosed me with endometriosis. Today, I still have some pain, but I now know more about endometriosis and tips for managing it.

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.


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