“Maybe the pain is just in your head.” ER CAN YOU NOT?
People who say "it's just period pain" drive you crazy.
It's really not. Endometriosis is when the tissue that lines the womb, called endometrium, grows outside of the uterus. It can cause scarring and severe pain when it tries to shed, just like the lining normally does during your period, but the problem is that it has nowhere to go. Plus, sometimes your organs fuse together due to the scar tissue, called adhesions. You can find out more here.
It can take a long, long time for endometriosis to be officially confirmed by a medical professional.
And misdiagnosis is common. It takes an average of 7.5 years to receive a formal diagnosis, as many people think (at least at first) that level of period pain is normal. Also, many of the symptoms are similar to other common conditions. My symptoms started at the age of 10, but I didn't get an official diagnosis until I was 23.
And doctors often don't take you seriously.
This is especially true when you're young and try to get help, with doctors saying unusual period cycles will settle, that the pain is just "in your head", or that severe pain is normal. The only official way to be diagnosed is through a laparoscopy, i.e., a camera through your belly button, operated by a skilled specialist who knows what to look for.
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Keeping a diary can help you to get diagnosed.
Specialists recommend it, as it can identify a pattern of the pain or highlight if anything (food, exercise, sex) is making it worse.