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A woman has recalled how she suffered with painful symptoms for years before doctors discovered 'grapefruit sized' cysts on her ovaries.
Farren Bay, 33, from California suffers from endometriosis, a painful condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. In Farren's case, it has spread to four organs in her body, causing her debilitating symptoms.
You can watch a video of Farren describing her pain below:
“My body feels like it's trapped inside an elderly woman,” Farren told NeedToKnow.online.
“The pain put me out of job as a hospital technician in December 2020 for over a year. I couldn't pay my rent, afford my car, daily necessitates, or even food – not to mention the cost of surgeries and medications that kept piling up in debt.
“I suffer from pain pretty much every day. At the age of 33, my body can't do the things I want it to – it's disheartening.
“It also affects my relationships with people in my life, because it's hard to socialise. Sometimes I suffer constant nausea and am so fatigued I barely want to go out."
Before her diagnosis, Farren was baffled by the mysterious illness and thought it was due to painful periods.
She claimed that doctors had dismissed her symptoms for years and instead diagnosed her with a UTI and constipation. But everything changed after she collapsed on the floor.
“One day, I felt intense pain and ended up calling my dad because I didn't feel well," she said.
“When he found me, I was collapsed on the floor, gasping for air.
“The paramedics came and I was rushed to the hospital to find out that I had two cysts the size of grapefruits on my right ovary.
“They admitted me to observe me and I was told, by my gynaecologist at the time, that if I didn't feel better by morning that surgery would be the best option.
“She removed the cysts and during my follow-up appointment I found out I was diagnosed with endometriosis.”
After her diagnosis, she was given medication that forced her body into menopause but suffered with terrible side effects.
“The drugs put you into a medically-induced menopause – it was absolutely horrible," she explained.
When it comes to fertility and whether Farren will be able to conceive children, she said that the situation is uncertain.
"I don’t know what my future looks like when it comes to my fertility. I am told I am able to conceive with one tube and ovary but endometriosis can grow there and block my tube.
“I was put on another medication later, but nothing worked, so I eventually stopped everything altogether.
“I felt alone, confused, angry, upset, I really wanted to speak up but I felt ashamed of my diagnosis.
“I hope that sharing my story will help many other people either get diagnosed or feel less alone because this disease is very isolating.”
If you are suffering, you can find help, support and advice at Endometriosis UK.