An ex-Playboy model has warned women to look out for symptoms after her constant pain turned out to be a tumour on her womb.
Sarah Longbottom has lived with the condition for years but kept being dismissed by doctors and told it was period pain and told to take paracetamol.
The 37-year-old now wants to raise awareness about the condition which can see womb tissue grow in other areas like the fallopian tubes leading to severe pain, fertility issues and even depression, reports Lancashire Live.
“Endometriosis affects one in 10 women its something that isn’t really talked about,” she said.
“It’s dismissed as period pain and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), woman are told to just get on with it but this is debilitating pain.
“It was so painful for me that I needed morphine, it was less like period pain and more like contractions, it was like having a baby all over again.
“But I’m positive in myself now and I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I want women to know that there is light in the darkness with endometriosis.”
Before her diagnosis, Sarah suffered severe pain down her legs and stomach when she was a teenage but was always told by doctors that she was experiencing IBS.
Physicians often told Sarah to take paracetamol and often dismissed the crippling pain she was experiencing.
She said: “I used to suffer really badly with constant pains, it wasn’t until I really pushed that it got checked out properly.
“I was just ignored really but I was getting pains down my leg, I was heavy bleeding and my period was knocking me out every month.”
In 2019, Sarah gave birth to her second child but began experiencing pain and problems in her stomach.
After being told for years that her pain was down to bowel problems, Sarah was given a laparoscopy.
The model was told that she had a tumour on her right ovary which had been caused by endometriosis.
“There were cancerous cells but it wasn’t cancer,” said Sarah.
“The endometriosis was pushing on my nerves and causing pain down my legs and lower back.
“I had the tumour removed in May 2019.”
After her operation Sarah was prescribed morphine to deal with the pain of her condition.
In December 2020, the mum-of-two was put on a form of chemotherapy to help fight her Endometriosis.
She said: “Whenever people hear ‘chemo’ they instantly think of cancer but it is used in a lot of different ways. This stops my ovaries from producing and stops me having a period.
“It has been tough, I’ve lost my hair and I’ve had chronic fatigue for the past three months.
“It has upset me, I was crying the other day because my hair was coming out.
“But then I thought: ‘this is a small price to pay for not being in pain’.”
She now hopes to share her story with other women and has urged them to look out for symptoms of the condition.
“The first three months were a struggle, but now I’m myself again and I’m not in pain,” said Sarah.
“There is always light at the end of the tunnel, I want women to know that.
“I’m lucky that I have a platform which I can use for good, this isn’t about me this is about promoting awareness for this disease.”
“Watch out for the symptoms, severe period pain, heavy bleeding, pain after sex, pain after going to the toilet.
“If you are worried go to the doctor and push, don’t let people dismiss it.”
Sarah is still on chemo for the next three months but is determined to do what she can for the charity Endometriosis UK.
On Saturday (March 20) she will be walking three kilometres to raise money for the charity.