A woman who endured “excruciating pain” during her period was only diagnosed with endometriosis after she listened to an episode of Lunchtime Live.
Niamh began to menstruate at the age of 12 and soon began to dread getting her monthly period.
There were times when the pain was so bad she thought she might black out and she sometimes missed work because it was too painful to walk across the room.
Despite this, doctors told her simply to take more pain medication and one concluded she was suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
“I always thought that was normal, some girls just have heavier periods than others and some people just have more pain,” Niamh told Lunchtime Live.
“It was actually [while] listening to one of these [Lunchtime Live] shows that my Mom messaged me from Ireland and said that I should probably go to the doctor because it sounded like [endometriosis].
“So, I actually went to the doctor last July about this in England and they referred me to the hospital.”
At the hospital, Niamh was given an internal ultrasound, MRI scanning and a smear test; a few months later, she was given a diagnosis of stage 4 endometriosis.
According to the HSE, endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places like the ovaries, the lining of the tummy and fallopian tubes.
The health service says endometriosis can affect women of any age, although it is less likely in women after menopause. It is also less likely in girls in the early years after their first period.
One of the symptoms of endometriosis is painful periods and although Niamh had heard the term, she never considered she might have it.
She is due to have surgery in January and feels strongly there should be more awareness about the condition.
“There definitely needs to be more education on it,” she said.
“I think it’s mad that I have been diagnosed with it and had to research myself to find out what it actually is.
“How can women or girls go and get the help that they need for the pain that they’re suffering with if they don’t know what it could be?”
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Main image: A woman having a painful pain.