Since her mid-teens, Brittany suffered debilitating pain episodes which got progressively worse as the years progressed.
“I realized that I really needed to take my health into my own hands and research my symptoms,” she recalls. “I started finding out about this illness called Endometriosis online; and it baffled me how I could relate to it so much, but yet, I'd never heard about it before.”
After many visits to clinics, the emergency room and several doctors and specialists, she was referred to the BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis.
Since opening its doors in 2011, Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis Centre staff have joined women like Brittany on their journey to recovery.
“In our experience, women can overcome this often debilitating condition with a variety of treatment options, pain management and integrated support,” says Dr. Catherine Allaire, Medical Lead, BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis. “Many women say that prior to coming to our program they felt frustrated, hopeless and alone.”
“Coming to the BC Women's Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis is the best thing I have ever done for my health. For the first-time, I felt validated in my concerns and really listened to,” Brittany explains.
“I wasn’t just another patient through the door. I was treated like a person. The clinic team weren’t just addressing the Endometriosis internally; they were dealing with the other physical issues caused by it and my mental well-being.”
The BC Women's Centre for Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis is the only truly interdisciplinary program in Canada for pelvic pain. Here, women learn about the many conditions that can contribute to chronic pelvic pain and receive effective treatment. The Centre’s interdisciplinary approach to chronic pelvic pain includes pain education workshops, pelvic floor physiotherapy, counselling as well as medical and surgical management (such as advanced excisional laparoscopic surgery).
Like Brittany, hundreds of women are cared for and treated each year at the Centre. “The BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis is a testament to the fact there is so much hope to be found in what seems like a hopeless diagnosis,” says Brittany.
Through the Centre, BC Women’s continues to further medical understanding of how and why endometriosis causes pain and seeks the best treatment options for women. Next year, Vancouver will host the 13th World Congress on Endometriosis. It will provide a unique opportunity to share the latest research into causes and treatment of endometriosis, providing even more hope to more women here at home in BC and around the world.