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Amber’s story: “At the time I had no idea I had adenomyosis, endometriosis or PCOS”

For years, Amber suffered with heavy bleeding and severe period pain, now she is raising awareness in the hope to shed light on conditions that are not spoken about in her community.

Photo of a woman in black and white in front of many words describing periods such as painful, flooding

Here, Amber shares her story as part of our “Just a Period” campaign.

I did not get any period education when I was at school. I learnt about menstrual health from my mum.

I got my period when I was 12, it was heavy and very painful. I suffered with extreme bloating and pelvic pain. I thought that this was normal, because of the limited education that I had.

At the time I had no idea that I had adenomyosis and endometriosis or PCOS.

I suffered with heavy bleeding and severe pain for a year, but then there was a month where I bled constantly. And I developed abdominal pain, sore legs, clotting and extreme bloating.

At the time I had no idea that I had adenomyosis and endometriosis or PCOS.

I was shortly diagnosed with PCOS, after seeing a male gynaecologist about my irregular periods, he just looked at me and said I have PCOS because of my weight and excessive facial hair.

After my diagnosis, I did my own research because I was not given any information from my doctor. I learnt how to manage my symptoms through diet, stress management and exercise. But I still suffered with pain and flare ups that really affected all aspects of my life.

One day the pain became so bad that I went to my doctor and asked for an ultrasound. I was dismissed saying it’s all normal and I should just take a hot water bottle and paracetamol.

This continued for years after.

Sometimes when I would be on my period, I would end up in hospital, however, I was always dismissed. At one point, I was told that I could have IBS.

In 2021, I collapsed on the bathroom floor at home due to extreme levels of pain and heavy bleeding. Thankfully my mum was there to help me.

Sometimes when I would be on my period, I would end up in hospital.

A year later, I contracted covid for the first time and my symptoms became worse. When I called in for advice, I was told that I could have ovarian cancer. But that was not the case.

I had private medical insurance and because of the delays in treatment, I got all my tests done privately.

I had a pelvic ultrasound and in February 2023 I was diagnosed with adenomyosis, endometriosis, I already had PCOS.

When I didn’t know that I had adenomyosis and endometriosis, I was sacked from jobs because I had to take time off work. This condition and the length of time it has taken to be diagnosed has impacted my life in every way possible. It’s difficult for me to progress in my career and personal life. I do not even know how a prospective partner would take the news that I have this illness.

This condition and the length of time it has taken to be diagnosed has impacted my life in every way possible.

Since my diagnosis, I have been managing my symptoms holistically as I do not want to go on any pill or coil. I was told to have a hysterectomy, but I still want to have the chance at having a baby one day. So did not want to limit my options.

Looking back, I wish I had known sooner that I had several gynaecological conditions. The fact that it took ten years to be diagnosed is shocking. If I had known earlier, I could have made plans to free my eggs, it’s now difficult to do, because of my age and the cost. 


If you can relate to Amber's story, you could have a medical condition that needs treatment. Always see your doctor if you have any concerns.

Find more information and advice in our periods information hub.

If you need to access a support service, please visit our helplines and support services page.

Marianne 1

Can menstrual fluid identify causes of heavy periods?

Dr Marianne Watters is being funded by Wellbeing of Women to research differences in menstrual fluid from women with heavy and normal menstrual blood loss. This is a crucial first step towards development of a non-invasive test that could be carried out by GPs to confirm heavy periods and identify underlying structural causes.  The key aim is to streamline the diagnostic process and enable women to get appropriate support and treatment at an earlier stage.