I was fourteen and a freshman in high school when I vomited on the bus ride home because of the pain caused by my menstrual cramps, which prompted my first visit to an OBGYN and the beginning of a long journey for answers. I was told pain and vomiting were normal, and I was prescribed birth control pills and Naproxen. It worked for a while, but I switched pills in college and my anxiety level skyrocketed. I finally realized the birth control pills caused it, and stopped taking them. The pain causing puking and almost fainting came back and grew worse, ovulation pain started, and GI issues became worse and more painful. A few more visits to the OBGYN and I was told it was all normal and my only option was birth control again. I went to GI specialists and was told I was fine, I went to the ER and was told it was constipation, I went to another OBGYN and was again told my symptoms were normal. A final visit to the OBGYN left me feeling hopeless - they weren't convinced it was endo, but they would agree to put me on Lupron for 3-6 months, perform laparoscopy and burn anything they found (but only if it was in a "safe" location), or go back on birth control pills. None of the options were good. Thankfully a last ditch effort Google search helped me find a specialist in excision surgery right in my hometown. They examined my previous records and symptoms and agreed I had an extremely high probability of endometriosis that warranted surgery. During surgery they removed multiple spots including several on my colon and one that attached my intestine to my abdominal sidewall creating a kink. I am very lucky that my OBGYN was so doubtful because it pushed me to find a specialist that performed the most effective surgery for endometriosis removal reducing my likelihood of additional surgeries in the future from 70% to 5%.

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