Natalie's story

Bupa Health Editor Natalie Heaton

Natalie, who is a content producer, talks about how endometriosis affected her

The main symptom of my endometriosis was pain in my lower abdomen. Sometimes it would shoot down the backs of my legs too. The pain would feel nagging and heavy, and I wouldn’t be able to block it out. If I was at work, in the pub, or sitting on a bus, I would find it difficult to keep still. I would squirm and have to go home, feeling poorly and upset, and angry that my body was letting me down. Sometimes I’d think I was imagining it all or that what was happening was normal and I just couldn’t cope with it like other people could. It dented my self-esteem and had a big effect on my social life.

I would want a hot water bottle all the time – even in the summer months! I even got red marks on my tummy from the heat of having the hot water bottle permanently clutched to my stomach. Not only would I have awful cramps two to three weeks out of every four (the pain would come on a week or so before and carry on for another week after my period), I’d feel so tired and my mood would dip spectacularly. I felt more poorly than I did well. Getting diagnosed (I had a laparoscopy and the endometriosis removed) and ongoing treatment (taking hormonal contraception) completely changed my life.

If you‘re concerned that you have the symptoms of endometriosis, please don’t suffer in silence. Make an appointment to see your GP. They’ll be able to talk through your concerns and discuss your options with you.

Living with endometriosis? Looking for support?

The endometriosis support page in our Women's Health Hub offers a wide range of expert advice, information and tools.

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