The experience of living with endometriosis is, for many women, very challenging. A fortunate few find sympathetic doctors, relatively quick diagnosis and treatment, and uncomplicated recovery. They are able to maintain careers, relationships, have children and generally enjoy their lives. This is not the case for many other women with endometriosis.
Our findings are sobering and compelling, revealing lives of struggle, loss and grief for most. The information provided by the women in this study portrays lives shaped by the experience of severe chronic pain intruding on many aspects of daily life, limiting their vision of future life and also their socio-economic prospects. These findings are similar to the endometriosis experiences reported by women in other countries (Ballweg, 1997; Carlton, 1996; Denny, 2004). Consistent with studies from the United Kingdom (Carlton, 1996), New Zealand (Grace, 1995) and the United States (Ballweg, 1997) the current study found women experienced delays in diagnosis, chronic pain, infertility and loss of career and relationships.