Hello, I'm Laura
"I am a triplet, and I am the only one out of the three of us who has this issue. I was one week before turning 12 when I got my first period, I remember being in horrendous pain and I’d leaked through my pyjamas. It was my birthday sleepover, but I didn’t tell anyone right away because I felt abnormal. Don’t be like young Laura, ask someone for help".
I knew something wasn’t right with how heavy it was, how young I was and how many paid medications I was having to take and how I couldn’t use tampons. But it wasn’t until I reached my late teens, I knew something wasn’t right as by this time strong medications like tramadol wouldn’t help. The pain and the bleeding was uncontrollable. I’d generally feel unwell around the time of my period and eventually when I became sexually active it was painful.
I remember often consulting with my GP about these issues who told me I needed to drink more milk. I was 19 and after begging them to perform a laparoscopy to see what was going on, they eventually listened.
My initial reaction to finding out I had endometriosis was relief because for a while I had all the symptoms of ovarian cancer, but soon after I realised the lack of care and not so great treatment options and the fact it wasn’t curable, it became difficult. The thought of living with this forever and not knowing if I can have children or if I’ll be able to have a sexual relationship was scary.
After my first surgery my symptoms were better for a few months and I thought great this isn’t too bad, until they came back. When I realised the difficulties getting the treatment I assumed I’d have a surgery every 1.5 years or so to deal with it by an expert but that has not been the case. I was 20/21 when my bladder issues started, this is something that has ruined my twenties, preventing me from doing jobs, in person education, travelling, holidays, going to parks etc.
I was told I had endometriosis and eventually adenomyosis and once I had an endometrioma (chocolate ovarian cyst) burst. I’ve tried all types of hormone treatments, false menopause, several laparoscopies, cervical erosion removal, ultrasound scans, bladder surgery, and pelvic physio therapy.
I was offered a full hysterectomy aged 21 where I was told to take it or leave it, they can’t help me other than pain meds and contraception. I was given just 30 seconds to make my decision, I declined.
Joining The Endometriosis Foundation support group and connecting with other people has really helped me! Especially a few close friends I’ve made from it.
I’d like others to know that that endometriosis is not just “bad periods” or heavy bleeding. It makes me vomit, dizzy, it gives me migraines, the side effects from pain medications can be sickening.
You might have a plan for your life, but it doesn’t work that way. Educate yourselves, other people, talk about it, stick up for yourself, and push and push for treatment. The plus side is you’ll become a part of an amazing supportive community full of strong and inspiring ladies! Never feel alone. Stay strong, you’ve got this".