Speaking with Mamamia ahead of the air date, the 29-year-old shared how the excruciatingly painful condition, which causes tissue similar to that found inside the uterus to grow outside of it, has impacted almost every aspect of her life.
“My symptoms were pretty hardcore,” she told the publication. “My period was really bad from high school, but it got worse as I got older, it started to get really bad in my early twenties. The main thing is I’d feel like a crazy person every single month for the three days leading up to my period, and then the pain increased during.”
“I’d not have a period for ages or just bleed for months on end,” she continued, adding that the pain was so debilitating it became unbearable to perform day-to-day tasks.
“It got to a point where I thought ‘I can’t live life like this… I wouldn’t want to get out of bed. Sometimes I’d keep bleeding and bleeding and bleeding and wondering when it was going to stop.”
Her endo also affected her intimate relationships and prevented her from getting pap smears.
“With sex being painful, I was thinking, well this isn’t fun for me, what’s wrong with my body?” she said. “I would bloat so much leading up to my period, to the point where I’d gain three to four kilos, and when you’re bleeding all the time and in that much pain, how are you meant to feel good about yourself?”
Soon enough, these physical symptoms started taking their toll on her mental health too.
“When you’re not feeling good down there, it can affect everything,” she said. “And the severe depression and anxiety I was getting from the thought of it coming was awful. Being diagnosed with endo answered so many questions as I hadn’t heard anything about it.”
In 2016, Angie underwent a laparoscopy to remove her endo via a small incision in her belly button, which initially helped ease her pain. She also manages the condition with a healthy diet and lifestyle, although she does worry it may affect her chances of conceiving in the future.
“I’ve never overly worried about having a boyfriend by a certain age, I’m a big believer in universal timing, but when it comes to fertility having endometriosis, that’s my only real clock,” she admitted.
“I’m 30 soon and I don’t want babies anytime soon, but I want to start [getting on top of my symptoms] now. I don’t want to wait to get to the time when I want to have a baby because it could be a struggle.”
Her message for other women experiencing similar symptoms? Educate yourself on the common signs of endo – and speak to others about your struggle.
“After I was diagnosed was when people would say ‘oh I have that’. I then realised way more women have it but just don’t talk about it. But now we are,” she said.
For more info and support on endometriosis head to www.endometriosisaustralia.org.