Endometriosis affects at least 1 in 10 women across the UK. The pain and discomfort this condition causes can be debilitating and even stop women from going to university, their place of work, or even being able to get out of bed. Not only can it have a drastic effect on a person’s physical well being but also on their mental health.
However, we believe nothing should stop you from living your best life. That’s why we reached out to our lovely ambassadors who gave us a better insight into endometriosis and what they achieve whilst living with the condition.
I have suffered with pelvic pain since starting my periods at age 13. I’m now 25 and I've been misdiagnosed with numerous different things for 12 years! I’ve been mistreated, been told that I was a hypochondriac by a different doctor and three surgeries in just over a year. The first surgery I had I was told there was nothing wrong with me. After my second surgery, I was told I had very mild stage one endometriosis. I was not investigated properly and after my third surgery three weeks ago I had excision surgery to remove severe stage 4 Endometriosis.
After changing my GP three times and seeing three different gynaecologist I finally have the right answers after 12 years of waiting after seeing an Endometriosis specialist. Having to take tramadol and morphine every day isn’t a life a 25-year-old woman wants to live it isn’t fair and we shouldn’t have to wait this long for the right diagnosis. Having endometriosis has mentally and physically changed my life, especially with my relationship with my boyfriend! I’m so lucky to have a boyfriend who is always by my side to support me! Having so much sick leave off work can bring a lot of stress financially in your life. Raising awareness for Endometriosis is so important to me!
You can follow Jessica's endo journey on her Instagram @thendometriosisdairy
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It took 9 years for me to be diagnosed with endo. I was diagnosed with IBS, anaemia and mittelschmerz before I was diagnosed which are all symptoms of endo. But no doctor picked up on it until my operation 6 months ago. The doctors thought I had appendicitis when I was 14 because I was in so much pain, so they put me on the pill at 15 thinking if they could solve me developing an egg I’d be fine and have no pain. It wasn’t until I was 20 and I passed out from the pain, I was taken seriously.
I changed GP’s and had several (unsuccessful) tests for UTIs or STDs and an ultrasound. Although my first operation didn’t work and I have to have another one, at least I have a diagnosis and I can learn about it more! My endo hasn’t stopped me from getting my BSc (Hons) psychology, graduating with a 2:1; Even though, it can be very difficult with the constant pain and fatigue and having an operation in the middle of my dissertation I still did it!
You can follow Ayse's endo journey on her Instagram account.
Read All you need to know about Endometriosis
When I first was trying to get my ‘official’ endometriosis diagnosis, I was sent for a laparoscopy with a gynaecologist who told me after a surgery of about 15-minutes, I was ‘clean as a whistle’. And no, no photos or biopsies were taken. I was crushed but knew something wasn’t right. Luckily I was able to get a second opinion this time with an endometriosis specialist, and 6 months after my first laparoscopy I went under for a second one.
This time, my surgery was over an hour long and there was endometriosis not only found but excised from my ovaries and womb. Today I’m still battling endometriosis symptoms but I’m finally working with a specialist team who is prioritising my health, fertility, and wellbeing over their own vanity. I can’t say the same for all endo warriors, unfortunately, and my story of being fobbed off at my first surgery is all too common.
You can follow Brittnee's endo journey on her blog and on her Instagram account @brittnessleysen.
Read What your period can tell you about your health
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My struggle started 5 years ago. The pain was just becoming worse and worse. First, it was just around my period, then it became a good three weeks out of the month and then it was all the time. I spent years being told by friends and family that I was a hypochondriac. The doctor kept fobbing me off with stronger and stronger pain killers, telling me it was normal. Finally, after much begging, he referred me to a specialist who preceded to put me into the chemical menopause without even knowing I had endometriosis.
After 4 months of awful menopausal side effects, they agreed to do a laparoscopy. My lap took place in August 2018 they found and removed a large amount of endo. I had a few good months but I'm back to the start now in constant agonising pain and waiting to see a new consultant at the moment. I might have lost jobs and friends but I still love to spend my time watching rugby and travel whether it be for rugby, to sit by the pool or to explore new cities! Endo has made me mentally strong and resilient and the BeYou patches make me able to live a half normal life.
You can follow Naomi's endo journey on her blog and Instagram page.
Hearing our ambassador's stories about living with endometriosis demonstrates how women can lead fulfilling lives with the condition and also the lack of education surrounding endometriosis. We will always strive to create a conversation surrounding women's health, as we believe discussing female health issues is half the battle, in closing the health gap.
If you have any endometriosis-related questions check out the NHS website or book an appointment with your local GP. Comment below and share this with your gal pals to make sure you're all clued up about endometriosis and start the conversation in your girl gang.