Jasmine started experiencing severe period pain as a teenager and endured five years of pain before she was diagnosed with endometriosis. Her journey continues.
“Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night because of the pain. I usually can’t stand up or walk for very long periods of time without experiencing endometriosis pain,” she says.
Despite presenting to her doctor with symptoms at age 16, endometriosis wasn’t diagnosed until Jasmine was 21, when a GP referred her to see a gynaecologist for a laparoscopy. The surgery revealed that she had endometriosis, which had caused her appendix to become stuck to her abdominal wall.
“When the surgeon confirmed that I had endometriosis, I cried because I was so relieved to finally have an answer,” Jasmine said.
In women with endometriosis, the amount of the disease present in the pelvic cavity does not always correlate with the severity of their symptoms. While Jasmine has small deposits of endometriosis, this causes her to experience severe symptoms, including sciatic pain (nerve pain), back and pelvic pain.
The 26-year-old law graduate from Melbourne is planning to have a third laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis next year, which she hopes will ‘tide her over’ until she and her husband decide to have children.
“I am hoping endometriosis will not affect my fertility, as it does for around 30 per cent of women with the disease,” Jasmine said.
Jasmine would like to see change when it comes to endometriosis, particularly increased awareness, education and early diagnosis.
“I would love to see early diagnosis. I heard the average time is eight years, which is ridiculous. Increased awareness would also be great, I think it would help a lot of women if endometriosis was widely acknowledged as a chronic disease, similar to arthritis or asthma,” Jasmine says.