I started with what I now know to be endometriosis symptoms when I was 16. As this was 15 years ago, the doctors put me onto the combined pill as that dealt with my heavy periods. I came off the pill when I was 21 as I was concerned about news in the media about long term use of it. 6 months later, my periods stopped. I went to see the GP who did a pregnancy test (which was negative) and sent me for a scan to check for PCOS. 

Fast forward to being 26 and I was suffering with pain throughout the month. My periods were a nightmare, I'd be taking time off work every month as I needed to be in bed for the first 3 days of them. I woke up one morning and was in so much pain that I knew something had to happen. I could barely move. I rang 111 who suspected I was suffering an ectopic pregnancy. I ended up in A&E that afternoon. A&E did a pregnancy test and a urine dip and discovered I was suffering from a water infection (!) and sent me home with pain relief and antibiotics. I was back the next day as the pain was getting worse. They admitted me on the spot and referred me to a general surgeon. 

The general surgeon refused to refer me to gynae (even though his registrar wanted to) and decided it was my appendix (which an ultrasound had ruled out!) so I had an emergency appendectomy. Whilst recovering from that, my GP did a home visit with thrush treatment (because that's just what I needed at that point!) and said she suspected endometriosis. At this point I started to do some research about it.

I was then referred to gynae, who initially knocked me back! To cut a long story slightly shorter, I had a laparoscopy in August 2012 which diagnosed endometriosis and life as I knew it changed. In January 2013 I started on Prostap which put me into a temporary menopause. I've been in and out of the menopause ever since. 

I had my second laparoscopy in May 2014, my 3rd in November 2014 and my 4th in April 2014. I have a history of bowel adhesions which have damaged my ovaries quite severely. I am now infertile, endo has taken any chance of having children. Yet the battle does not stop. In July 2017, I was listed for my 5th laparoscopy this time with excision. 

I live each day as it comes, I've had 3 flare ups in the last 2 months, so something has to give. I've got my final placement coming up in September and I will need all of my strength for that! Surgery looks like its going to be in January, just as my degree comes to a conclusion... It's a good job I like a challenge! 

Thank you for sharing your story Katie.

If you would like to contact Katie, you can follow her on Twitter @katieatheart222.

Remember, every one of us has a different story, and the more shared, the more we can learn. If you are interested in sharing your story, please contact me at shireen.emlwy@gmail.com.