This article is part of Health's new series, Misdiagnosed, featuring stories from real women who have had their medical symptoms dismissed or wrongly diagnosed.
I always considered myself to be in relatively good health. I had annual checkups, maintained a healthy diet, and tried to exercise. Overall, I was happy to be completely average. True, I had very heavy and lengthy periods, along with bad cramps. But so did my mom. So does my daughter. I thought that’s just how it is.
Then in 2011, after two previously healthy pregnancies, I suffered a miscarriage when I was four months pregnant. Soon after, I started having severe back and leg pain. At first, I blamed it on getting older or the fact that, as a lawyer, I sat so much during the day. When the pain didn’t go away, it seemed likely that it was due to sciatica or a pinched nerve. After a normal pelvic exam and ultrasound, my ob-gyn agreed. So did the chiropractor I consulted.
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But despite physical therapy appointments and Pilates classes, the pain never completely cleared up. Not until 2014 did I realize that it worsened during and after my period. I also began suffering from other symptoms like frequent urinary tract infections, constipation, and ", MD, a New York-based gynecologist laparoscopic surgeon. He'd already taken the time to read all my medical files—and he was horrified that no one spotted what he said were classic endometriosis symptoms, such as "