Living With Endometriosis is Painful, Period

This animated video from AbbVie starts by explaining that it often takes 10 years for a woman who has endometriosis to get a definite diagnosis. That’s an average of six to 10 years of suffering and living in pain.

MORE: Why increasing awareness of endometriosis is so important.

The main symptom of endometriosis is chronic pelvic pain before, during or after a woman’s period. This means that it’s often dismissed as period pains — both by medical professionals and the sufferers themselves.

Better education is needed for young girls and women to help them recognize the difference between painful periods and endometriosis, and to realize that endometriosis pain doesn’t have to be confined to their periods, or even their pelvic area.

Other symptoms can also point to endometriosis, such as pain during sex, pain going to the bathroom, and pain in the intestines. The film explains that once women are diagnosed, many feel relieved as they finally know what’s wrong with them, but often this relief comes with uncertainty as they may face surgical procedures or have to worry about fertility issues.

MORE: How endometriosis affects fertility.

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