arrow-small-left Created with Sketch. arrow-small-right Created with Sketch. Carat Left arrow Created with Sketch. check Created with Sketch. circle carat down circle-down Created with Sketch. circle-up Created with Sketch. clock Created with Sketch. difficulty Created with Sketch. download Created with Sketch. email email Created with Sketch. facebook logo-facebook Created with Sketch. logo-instagram Created with Sketch. logo-linkedin Created with Sketch. linkround Created with Sketch. preptime Created with Sketch. print Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch. twitter logo-twitter Created with Sketch.

Jennifer and India’s endometriosis story

Jennifer realised she probably had endometriosis when her older sister was diagnosed—along with two other sisters. Find out what happened when she had daughters of her own.

Transcript

My name is Jennifer and I'm 50 years of age. I grew up in the country and I was a member of a large family with a number of sisters. I got my period when I was about 15, and right from the very beginning it was painful. In fact, it's sort of how I knew I'd got it one day because I woke up and I just had a really heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I did use a lot of painkillers for it. None of them really worked.

The only real option for me in terms of managing it was to go on the pill. Once my older sister had described her symptoms to us and we all looked into it, it turned out that three of us had it, so four of the girls in the family had symptoms, and suffered from endometriosis.

I had been told by the doctors that there was nothing they could do anyway, so why would I, you know, I just have to keep managing the pain and managing the process. When my husband and I decided that we wanted to start a family, I went to the doctor and told him that this had been happening, that I'd always had pain, and that I wanted to investigate it because by this stage some of my sisters had also had lots of issues with their general health.

After the laparoscopy, he came out and he said, "Well, you'll be amazed to find out that it's right through you, that you've actually got quite extensive endometriosis. Let me show you the sort of photographs from the operation." I remember just looking at him thinking, "I did tell you."

After I had my children, I did experience a few symptoms possibly related to the endometriosis, but I was treated at the time with an IUD, [inaudible 00:02:04] which is a localized progesterone dose. I don't suffer any of the symptoms of endometriosis and I no longer have any pain for it either.

So you know, in the end it's all worked out quite well, but it was a really, it was a really long time before something was done about it, and I always thought to myself that if my own daughters had to deal with this, that we would go onto it a little bit faster than we did for me.

I thought that, you know, it's quite possible that my child might have the same or my children might have the same issue, and sure enough when my eldest daughter got her period, pretty much from the beginning she suffered a lot of pain pretty much straight away.

Hi, my name is India, and I am 17 and I'm here to talk about my experience with endometriosis. Well, I wasn't surprised because, you know, I have so much family history with it, and you've kind of been telling me it's in there.

Yeah.

I had never really got the confirmation until after it had been excised. Is that the right word?

That's right.

Yeah. I go for a run almost every night. Going for a walk or even like going for a couple of runs before you even get your period really helps you with resilience against it.

People are more aware of it now, and so when I went to speak to the GPs about it, there were like, "Oh yeah, well this is probably likely. We can't do anything about just yet, but when she gets a bit older," and then when she got to the right age, we went through the steps that she would go through to manage it. No one sort of waited around or doubted that there was any kind if issue. So the experience for her was a lot more positive than it was a while back when I was going through it.