It can take 7 to 10 years to be diagnosed with endometriosis, according to a 2015 study published in the British Journal of General Practice. My own experience was only a little bit shorter than that.

"The diagnosis can be delayed because patients think things are going to get better," said Dan Martin, M.D., gynecological consultant for the Endometriosis Foundation of America. "Patients think pain is normal. Their family, friends and [healthcare] providers tell them that pain is normal."

My search began in 2016 after repeated, severe fibromyalgia flare-ups that left me with intense muscle spasms, constipation, back pain, fatigue and headaches. Unfortunately, by the time I was able to see my doctor, the majority of my symptoms had subsided, so he didn't witness the extent of my symptoms, and thought I was seeking painkillers.

When the trouble began

I was prescribed antidepressants and referred for a psychological consultation. I felt ignored. This