I have been diagnosed earlier this year after 5 years of pain. It started with excruciating pain in my stomach and back one day when I was having my period and as I had never had any pain before, I saw the doctor a few days later. I was told I must have had a water infection and yes, it was a woman doctor!
Next month the same pain again and every month since. So another visit to the doctor - this time a man, who diagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome.... surprise surprise. So there followed a year or so of various tablets and diet changes but of course none of them worked. A further visit to the doctor resulted in me being told that periods put a lot of stress on the body and still the diagnosis of IBS.
Over the next few years the pain continued, occasionally I took time off work because I couldn't concentrate. Then I went back to the doctor and saw another woman who prescribed some painkillers which were quite strong and did help a lot - Co-dydramol and for a while I was able to get by with these for a few months as long as I took them regularly during my period. The only problem was at night when I would wake up in agony and have to wait while they took effect.
Earlier this year I decided that I'd had enough and went back to see the doctor who was a woman. She prescribed more tablets but this time she asked more questions and finally after doing an external pelvic examination she said the only thing left was the possibility of Endometriosis - then she offered to refer me to a consultant. At last I felt as if I was being taken seriously.
Two months later I heard from the hospital and after a further two months I finally saw the consultant - a man who was extremely nice and after an external examination and questions told me he thought there was a good chance it was Endometriosis, the result of which I was put on the list for a laparoscopy which is the only way to diagnose the condition.
8 weeks later I had the lap done, stayed in overnight and the following morning, before I went home the doctor on duty came to see me with the results. Yes, I had Endometriosis - between the bladder and uterus, on the uterine ligaments (hence the backache) and on the pelvic wall itself. There was the photographic evidence to prove it - I had both chocolate spots and the pink nodule type - goodness knows what it looks like on the pelvic wall!!
Until that moment I still doubted that they would find anything but then, finally I felt vindicated - I hadn't been imagining it!
It took me two weeks to recover from the lap as I got an infection in the wound and also suffered some pain afterwards where they had stirred it up. My own doctor was suddenly very sympathetic and wanted to keep an eye on my progress too. I have now been booked in for another laparoscopy with laser treatment to remove it and although I know there is no guarantee for a permanent cure I feel it will be worth it to relieve the pain, even if it's only for a few months.
So now I have about three weeks to go and them, hopefully some relief....... More to follow after the next lap on the effectiveness (or otherwise) of laser surgery.
Keep fighting if you are still waiting for a diagnosis - there are some people out there who take it seriously!