What are your endometriosis symptoms like? My periods include excruciating pain and heavy bleeding. I work full time in Information Technology. Most of the time, I work with men and it’s awkward to explain to them my condition. So I just take painkillers and suffer in silence. I have just started bringing awareness about endometriosis to others. A lot of people dismiss my pain thinking it’s just period pain, but it’s not even close.

What was your journey to diagnosis like? I was diagnosed with Stage 4 endometriosis in 2002 when trying to have a baby. I went to a fertility clinic, and underwent a laparoscopy where I was diagnosed.

What was your experience with treatment for endometriosis been? I have tried laser surgery, exercise and am now trying massage. I feel like exercise and massage seem to help me cope with the pain.

How does endometriosis affect your day-to-day life? I work full time and primarily with men. It’s awkward to explain my condition, so I just take painkillers, suffer in silence and run to the bathroom every hour to change my tampons and pads.

How does endometriosis affect your emotional well-being? Main problems are sleep and anxiety. Sleep problems due to pain and anxiety worrying about how bloated I am, am I going to bleed through my clothes, etc.

How has endometriosis shaped turning points in your life up until now and looking toward the future? I am in my 40s. I feel that more awareness and education needs to pushed, so women like me are helped in terms of options at work, etc. Also, treatment. I want to be cured, not living my life coping. It’s like survival more than living.

How have you found hope and support in your endometriosis journey? I live alone and hence I just suffer alone. My friends are great listeners if I want to vent. I have just started massage and monitoring my periods to see how it’s helping. It seems to be helping so far.

What do you think healthcare for endometriosis in Canada should look like? Find a cure, listen to our symptoms and don’t dismiss our stories and what we go through.

What do you think it is important for people to know about the experience of having endometriosis in Canada? People should understand that we women are strong. We live with this pain in silence and yet we still put a smile on our faces and get to work. If we say we are in pain, listen to us, please.