These stories can help other women so they do not feel so alone when trying to cope with effects of this disease.
by Louise Wiles
For months I had a mysterious fever (along with extreme nausea and/or vomiting, splitting headache and sore throat feeling) with my period. It took a while for me to work out that it was happening at that certain time of the month, but when I did, I figured a doctor would now be able to suggest what it was.
No one could. Finally, another gynaecologist referred me to an endometriosis clinic, saying goodbye with, "I'm interested in what happens" - not exactly what you want to hear when leaving the doctor.
Finally, at the clinic the doctor said that fever was a possible symptom of endometriosis, and found a cyst on my ovary on the ultrasound. She was fantastic. She listened to everything I said, she believed the symptoms I described, and when I said the pain was 8 out of 10 when it was bad, she nodded her head, as though as to say, 'Yep. I'm sure it is.' Phew!
Before I saw her, it was pretty scary how many doctors either suggested outright or implied, that I was making a big deal about nothing. If doctors took the same attitude with symptoms of other diseases, they'd be thrown out of practice (think of untreated cancer or diabetes).
The disease, left to develop undiagnosed for years, not only affects the person's quality of life, but can do irreversible damage to their reproductive health, putting their fertility in jeopardy.
Doctor's have a responsibility to diagnose this disease or refer a woman to a doctor who can if they don't have the skills, knowledge or technology to test for it. A woman should never be brushed off as being dramatic, or their monthly symptoms described as 'normal', (nor should any person's concerns be brushed off by a doctor) and I will, personally, never accept that kind of response from a doctor ever again!
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