Endometriosis at 21

I was 18 when the pain started. 

I was at a Harry Styles concert swooning over "Sweet Creature" when I felt an intense stabbing pain below my belly-button. It was unlike any cramp or period pain I had ever experienced. After a few days of intense pain and not being able to move out of the fetal position, I knew I needed to have whatever was going on checked out.

After hearing from multiple doctors, "It is just an intense period that is causing those kinds of cramps. Take some Tylenol" I ended up getting a second opinion. During my very first appointment at Planned Parenthood, I had received more information than I had with the other doctors in 4 months. I was scheduled for ultrasounds, both on top of the pelvis and internally. After my third appointment, I was told I have Endometriosis. 

Endometriosis: This is when the cells that normally grow in the lining of the uterus (endometrial cells) start growing in other parts such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and bladder. It is known to cause intense pain and in advanced cases, infertility.

Life with IBS Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels The cause of this disease is still a mystery, as well as a cure. More than 6 million women in the U.S. suffer from Endometriosis. 

I have found support through my doctors at Planned Parenthood and also through an amazing organization called The Endo Fund. They are dedicated to bringing awareness and education of the disease and also funding for endometriosis research. 

I'm glad I could share my story, and if you or someone you know is experiencing abnormal pelvic pain, abnormal menstruation, or painful intercourse, contact your primary care physician. You know your body better than anyone else, and you deserve answers.