Endometriosis just makes everything harder - being a mum, being a partner, being a friend, being a sister. For so long I thought the pain that I was feeling all through the month was normal. I went to what feels like so many doctors who I felt didn't take my pain seriously, said it was just my periods and told me to take paracetamol.
It wasn't until about 10 years after I started getting the symptoms that I was referred to the hospital and had my first surgery. Endometriosis was finally diagnosed, but a second surgery and many months of pain later, I don't feel much has changed.
There is still no real treatment apart from painkillers and surgery to get rid of endo which in my case has returned each time, there is no cure and diagnosis still takes around 8 years. I've missed days off work, nights out with friends and spent so much time in pain it's insurmountable. For years I didn't talk about my condition because I felt like no one would understand what it was like.
Thanks to Endometriosis UK, I have realised I am not alone, that what I am going through is not unusual, but also that I can live a valuable life and manage my condition.
I am so pleased to be working with Endometriosis UK to be raising awareness of this condition and the time it takes for diagnosis. I also want women like me to know that they are not alone in this.