Pain is never okay!
I first heard about endometriosis from a friend in high school, but it seemed like a serious disease and it's normal to be in pain during your period.
I grew up without health insurance and relied on free oral contraceptives from the health clinic, which did not require any pelvic exam. I was on birth control for about 10 years. Eventually I switched to another pill because I was having very heavy, clotting periods and painful cramps that made me miss work and class.
The new pill didn't help, even after 7 months, so I simply swore birth control pills off for good.(they also exacerbated my depression.) My pain continued, two days of every period I would be in agony and barely able to go to work, Tylenol and aleve did nothing.
Once I found a real job and had actual health insurance, I went in for my first pelvic exam. I complained about ovulation pain, which I figured was normal mittelschmerz and completely lied about my menstrual pain because I was scared.
I eventually lost that job because of a combination of absences from menstruation to mental health. The pain is a burning, searing, stabbing and sawing. I joke that demons are slicing into my ligaments with rusty blades. My ovulation pain is both ovaries simultaneously for the entire day, like something is stabbing them over and over.
I can no longer have sexual intercourse because it feels like I'm being stabbed in the cervix. After gives me cramps. Orgasms have become incomplete as if the muscles can't contract and leaves me in a prolonged state of arousal. I have had digestive issues since I was a teen, started as diarrhoea every period but now the week before I am completely constipated until about day three of the period.
My rectum hurts and bleeds almost all of the time. From ovulation to period end, urination causes cramps or burning like a uti. I become so fatigued for two weeks of the month, I sleep my life away. During my period, I become dizzy and feel almost feverish.
The take away here is that you shouldn't wait, just as cancers get worse, endometriosis can get worse. I will not be able to have children after this surgery, but it's my only option as the adhesions and cysts have made a mess of my reproductive system. If something doesn't feel right, see a doctor and if you don't like what they say, see a new one!