What are your endometriosis symptoms like? Symptoms can be different for everyone, but what was a red flag for me was bothersome pain outside of menstrual cycles, spotting between cycles, and pain during sex. For me, my pain is predominantly on the right side. It feels tight and sharp, and even causes leg pain too.

What was your journey to diagnosis like? I’m still in the process of being diagnosed and COVID-19 has not helped the speed at all. I was referred to an OBGYN after having ultrasounds and a CT scan after having a very bad ovarian cyst rupture. While endo wasn’t found on the scans, this doesn’t mean it’s not there. It could be behind organs, it could be stage 1. The stages don’t make or break pain levels. After talking about my symptoms with my OBGYN she believes I have endo and I’m on the surgery waiting list to be officially diagnosed.

What was your experience with treatment for endometriosis been? I found taking progesterone pills to be quite helpful. It really managed the day-to-day pain and helped my quality of life. Unfortunately I had a sensitivity to it and it caused me dry skin so my OBGYN and I need to figure out a different course until surgery.

How does endometriosis affect your day-to-day life? My periods cramps and pain outside cycles is so bad that I have to call into work. It’s not like this everyday, but some days it is.

How does endometriosis affect your emotional well-being? I think the biggest impact it’s had on my mental health is the fatigue it causes. I find that taking vitamins helps give me more energy.

What do you think healthcare for endometriosis in Canada should look like? I think the healthcare system in Canada for endo needs work. It’s not a priority yet it happens to 1 in 10 people. Sometimes pain can be so bad that you need to go to the ER to get paid meds, and sometimes they don’t take you seriously there. I feel as though women’s reproductive health often gets swept under the rug.

What do you think it is important for people to know about the experience of having endometriosis in Canada? I think it’s important for people to know that while we have good days, it doesn’t mean we aren’t sick; flares can happen at any time. Also, intense period pain isn’t normal.