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A woman has detailed the "cruel" reality of her painful endometriosis, despite having gone through a hysterectomy for the condition.
Casey Reisner, 40, explained that people often assume she is pregnant due to the bloating her endometriosis causes - an especially ironic situation, as her illness prevents her from having children naturally.
Endometriosis is a lifelong condition that one in 10 women in the UK suffer from. It causes tissue similar to the lining of a womb to grow in other places such as the ovaries or fallopian tubes, and can cause severe pain.
Having suffered with endometriosis since she first started her period at age 14, Casey finally underwent a hysterectomy last year, but is now suffering more than ever.
"I look like I am pregnant all the time," she said.
"It’s ironic because it’s a condition which can make you infertile, but you look and feel like you’re carrying about the whole time.
"It’s cruel. I have had multiple people ask me when I am due and even when I was moving house, a removal guy told me not to pick up anything because of the baby.
"I even have to buy maternity clothes to comfortably fit over my stomach."
She went on to explain: "I eventually underwent a hysterectomy in September last year as a last resort to help me with the pain and symptoms, but since then things have only gotten worse."
Despite every woman in Casey's family having had a hysterectomy by the age of 40, doctors "brushed off" her pain as a heavy period for years.
"I would bleed between seven to ten days each month and it was heavy and so excruciatingly painful" she shared.
"It wasn’t until the age of 34 that I was actually diagnosed with endometriosis after 20 years of suffering."
Having tried everything from surgeries and doctors appointments to holistic treatments, nothing has helped with Casey's bloating and pain.
Reflecting on how it has affected her life, she said: "My life should’ve been amazing! I was planning amazing events in New York City, a job that I love and am good at. I should have been travelling the world.
"But this has taken over my life. I was tiny and my belly looked as if I was pregnant. I had to start wearing maternity clothes because I couldn’t stand anything tight being over my stomach and to try and cover the bump as best I could."
Casey admitted that she feels like "no one know what they are doing and there is nowhere near enough understanding about endometriosis.
‘It’s ruined my life. I’d always wanted to be a mum. I have an amazing relationship with my mum, she is my best friend and I wanted to have that too.
"But as everyone woman in my family has suffered from the same thing, I wouldn’t want to bring a daughter into this world to have to go through the same things and have her life taken from her too."
If you have been affected by any topics in this article or would like to learn more about endometriosis, head to endometriosis-uk.org.
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