• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

20 doctors and 18 years after, help comes for British Woman with endometriosis

Dearbhail Ormond

A woman who suffered excruciating periods has said she was diagnosed with endometriosis after seeing 20 doctors across 18 years.
Dearbhail Ormond, who lives in Surrey, UK also grew up experiencing extreme fatigue and pain after sex.

She said she began experiencing painful periods from the age of 16, and after seeking advice from a range of medical professionals, she received no answers.

The 42-year-old has since given birth to a baby girl and founded a company to help other endometriosis sufferers.

Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus.

‘I isolated myself’

At 18, she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome and fibromyalgia due to her fatigue.
After finishing university a year early due to her health, Ms Ormond moved to Australia, where she began experiencing pain after sex, sometimes fainting afterwards.

She began seeing a range of medical professionals, including gastroenterologists, immunologists and gynaecologists, but none were able to tell her what was causing her symptoms or how to relieve them.

“If you’re being taken to doctors, and you’re saying, ‘Look, this is how I feel’, and they say, ‘Well, your tests come back clear, you’re all fine’, it really plays with your own self-esteem,” she said.

“I isolated myself because I didn’t know what was going on and I felt absolutely rubbish.”
But at the age of 34, Ms Ormond was finally diagnosed after a surgeon found a 32 centimetre piece of endometriosis tissue in her ovaries.
“I was absolutely elated,” she said. “It changed me that day because I spent so much of my young adulthood questioning.

“Being told that they actually found something which is pretty serious, nobody wants to hear that, but I finally felt validated.”

Since then, she has founded Frendo, a company helping other women with endometriosis, and given birth to a baby girl despite doctors telling her she would not be able to conceive.
Six weeks after the birth, she collapsed due to her endometriosis and has since decided to have a hysterectomy to ease her symptoms.