I am now 33.
As a teenager I had slight period pain but nothing that stopped me living my life normally. My partner and I started trying for a baby when I was 23 and I miscarried three times before investigations were done.
It turned out I had a genetic condition that affected my chromosomes when I produced eggs. I was told I needed IVF so they could test the genetic make up of our embryos and I’d have a better chance of carrying a child full term.
After two full IVF cycles I became pregnant with my daughter and gave birth to her naturally. When she was around 4 months old I started having terrible stabbing pains and shocking period pain and heavy bleeding. I let it go for a while and didn’t do anything about it until I went back to my ob/gyn to try for a second baby.
This time IVF didn’t work so my specialist suggested a laparoscopy to check things out. I was diagnosed with moderate endometriosis that day and had quite a bit removed. I went on to have a few months without pain.
Watch Mia Freedman talk at the 2015 EndoActive Conference (post continues after video).
Unfortunately soon afterwards my marriage broke down. My husband complained that I was always unwell and not wanting to do anything. He told me I was a moody bitch and off he went.
My daughter and I moved in with my parents and as I had no plans to have more kids, or any more relationships for that matter. I went on the pill – Yasmin – and didn’t have any pain at all. A few months later I met a great bloke and we decided we would just be mates. Three years later that mate is now my husband. (Oops!)
During this time my endo has been out of control. I’ve had a laparoscopy again with a new ob/gyn who removed every single trace of it from my bowel, bladder and ovaries. They were all stuck together and it took me nearly four weeks to recover. I started taking Chinese herbs and actually felt quite well for a few months. That’s when I fell pregnant naturally with my second daughter. We were delighted but also absolutely stunned.
My ob/gyn said breastfeeding for as long as possible would help prevent endo returning. Unfortunately she was wrong. When the baby was six-weeks-old my period returned and with each cycle the pain increased. I ended up on the floor not being able to move and being rushed to emergency. They said I had a severe bladder infection but didn’t think it was related to endo.