For Some Women, Endometriosis Period Pains Can Be as Painful as a Heart Attack

At some point in their lives, most women with endometriosis will have an unsympathetic person (quite often a medical professional) tell them that their period pains are not as bad as they say, that it’s a normal part of a being a woman and to suck it up!

MORE: Seven things that women with endometriosis will understand.

But for some women, the pain is so intense and debilitating that it can feel as bad as suffering a heart attack. According to a report on, University College London Professor of Reproductive Health, John Guillebaud, explains that many doctors — both male and female — have historically been unsympathetic to women’s painful period complaints, offering limited advice on how to treat the problem.

It’s estimated that 10 percent of women in their reproductive years suffer from endometriosis — many of whom have not been formally diagnosed. It will take many years of unnecessary suffering before they get the answers they need.

More awareness of endometriosis is needed, particularly for young girls and women who have never heard of the disease and are unaware that it could be the cause of their painful periods.

Sadly, endometriosis is notoriously difficult to diagnose and often takes a surgical procedure to establish if a woman has the condition. Research is needed to find less invasive diagnostic techniques and more effective treatments.

Left untreated, women can go years with debilitating pain. Lesions can appear on other organs, even leading to infertility. High-profile women with the condition like Lena Dunham and Whoopi Goldberg are doing all they can to raise awareness of endometriosis in the hopes that everyone begins to take the disease and the symptoms more seriously.

MORE: Lena Dunham cancels her tour due to endometriosis. 

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