Living with Endometriosis: What I’ve Learnt Along the Way-image

Living with Endometriosis: What I’ve Learnt Along the Way

Medically Reviewed by Hertility on March 26, 2024

After a 9 year battle with pain, Abbie finally got a diagnosis for endometriosis. This is Abbie’s story, detailing the ordeal she went through to finally get treatment for her pain. 

Quick facts:

  • Endometriosis is a reproductive health condition that can cause severe pain among other symptoms.
  • Abbie was continually dismissed by doctors for years despite being in severe pain. 
  • After her pain became chronic Abbie was finally referred for a full investigation.
  • Abbie was diagnosed with severe endometriosis and has since tried various treatments.
  • Some treatments have worked wonders for Abbie such as sacral steroid injections.

Meet Abbie

My name is Abbie (@cheerfullylive) and in May 2019 I was finally diagnosed with endometriosis after a 9-year battle with pain. 

If you aren’t aware, endometriosis is a chronic and debilitating condition where cells similar to the ones in the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body like the ovaries and fallopian tubes. 

In response to your hormones, these cells break down and bleed, similar to the lining of your womb. This can cause inflammation and symptoms like painful periods, as well as possible infertility, fatigue, bowel and bladder problems, as well as many other symptoms.

This is my story with endometriosis, from pain to diagnosis and treatment. I hope it can help you if you suspect you may have endo symptoms, or just want to learn more about this condition.

Living in pain

I can remember distinctly the first time I had severe pain. It was about a year before I had my first period. It was absolutely terrifying and things only got worse from there.

My periods started when I was 15 and month by month the pain gradually became more debilitating. It got to the point where I could no longer get out of bed or do normal activities. 

I would miss school, university and even work, but my pain and symptoms were deemed ‘normal’ period pain. I was told repeatedly that ‘I just had a bad period’, ‘I had a low pain threshold and ‘it was just something I would have to endure as a woman’. 

This was even when I was having fainting episodes and vomiting due to the excruciating pain I was getting between periods. Because it was doctors telling me this, I genuinely believed it was just ‘normal’ and put up for it for many years of my life.

Years to diagnosis

It was only when my pain became chronic in December 2018, that my health was investigated fully. After going back and forth to my GP, A&E, urology and gynaecology, I was sent for an MRI in April 2019. 

After so many years of believing this pain was normal, I didn’t expect my MRI to come back with severe endometriosis adhesions all over, but it did. 

I was immediately booked in for an appointment with an endometriosis specialist. He told me I had extensive endometriosis on the left side of my pelvis, my left ovary and my bowel (sigmoid colon).

I was also told that it was highly likely I had endometriosis growing on my bladder, my kidneys and on the right side of my pelvis. But only this wouldn’t be known until I had surgery.

Managing my endometriosis

It’s been over a year since I was diagnosed and I’ve tried so many different things to help with managing endometriosis. I’ve gone from being on the combined pill to the mini pill to extra hormones on top of that. 

I’ve come off those extra hormones, gone on the waiting list for excision surgery, have taken different painkillers, tried yoga, hot water bottles, a TENS machine and trialled sacral steroid injections! 

It’s been a long, hard journey and there are still many difficult days, but I seem to have found a few things that have personally helped me along the road.

Deciding to have an expert excision of my endometriosis

I’m still waiting for a surgery date, but just being able to make this informed decision with my consultant made me feel empowered. It made me feel like I was able to have some control over my endometriosis and how much it affected my life. 

Being on the mini pill

This is something that has helped me, as I no longer have periods anymore, which reduces the debilitating monthly pain and anxiety that comes with it. However, I understand that hormones are a very personal choice and you have to do what’s right for YOUR body.

Pain management 

Investing in a decent hot water bottle and a heat pad, as well as a TENS machine has really helped me manage my everyday chronic pain.

Looking ahead

Despite the struggles I’ve faced and the pain I’ve had to endure whilst living with endometriosis, I’m very grateful for all the positive experiences that have come out of this journey. 

I started up my own blog, enjoyed being creative on Instagram and found an incredible community of #EndoWarriors! A fellow Endo warrior and I wrote a powerful blog post on “What Endo Means To Me”.

Thank you to Hertility for having me on their blog to share my journey with endometriosis! If you feel you may have endometriosis or are concerned about your symptoms, please reach out to someone and don’t suffer in silence.

Whether that’s your GP, sexual health clinic, hospital or a company like Hertility who can help you get answers on your reproductive or gynaecological health.

You can find me over on my blog at or on Instagram at @cheerfullylive I’m always open to having a conversation around women’s/period health, pelvic pain or endometriosis! Let’s break down the stigma and have more of these conversations!



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