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We all need to know about endometriosis

  • 02 March 2020


This March is endometriosis awareness month. My eight year journey to receiving diagnosis was a road paved with misdiagnoses, misinformed doctors, medical professionals disregarding my pain (some being outright rude) and poor education of gynaecological health. No one should suffer this road and, most importantly, no one should suffer it alone. Statistics show that endometriosis is very common, so chances are you know someone with endometriosis.

I have struggled to be heard by the media, by doctors and simply in everyday life when I try to talk about gynaecological health issues. I couldn’t count how many times I have been shut down and told every menstruator has period pain so ‘just live with it’.

Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease where tissue, ‘similar to which normally lines the uterus, grows in other parts of the body.’

I experienced painful periods from day one and was told by doctors it was ‘normal’. But what is normal? I was unable to get of bed for about three to seven days each period. I missed weeks off school. I was prescribed higher than the recommended doses of period pain medications as well as the pill but I still struggled.

A major issue with misdiagnosis of endometriosis is the normalisation of period pain. The fact that we are discouraged from talking about menstruation meant that I didn’t realise what I was suffering was abnormal.

So, why can’t we talk about gynaecological health openly and freely? There needs to be more accessible information and open conversations. These are lives being dismissed just because it makes some people uncomfortable.


'I felt lost, confused and mistreated for so many years. Unfortunately, my story is not unique. Studies show the average time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis is seven to twelve years.'  

About a year after my first period I sought help from a gynaecologist. But she had old information on the illness and informed me that ‘if you have bad periods from day one, then you can’t possibly have endometriosis because that grows over time’. 

But this is wrong. Research on endometriosis has found that it can start during all hormonal stages: premenarcheal (pre-menstration), reproductive and postmenopausal. At the time I was relieved and I took this expert doctor’s word as gospel truth. Unfortunately, this led to suffering another seven years before I received my diagnosis.

During these seven years I continued to tell doctors how I was still struggling every month and