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When I said I didn't have insurance, the receptionist's face went blank

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In December 2017, after three very expensive visits to a gynaecologist, I had a Mirena IUD inserted to manage the pain associated with my periods. Two weeks later I was on the couch in agony.

Walking past, my uncle asked what was wrong. “Period pain,” I responded.

“Ugh,” he said. "Too much info.”

Rose Dooley faced a two-year wait for surgery which would diagnose her endometriosis.

It was in fact, not that much info. I had not told him this was the second IUD I’d had, as the first was accidently ripped out upon insertion by my gynaecologist (and I had then held the speculum while they ran to the chemist to get another), or recalled the time I passed out in a public toilet and, knowing nothing could relieve the pain, lay there counting the tiles on the wall for a few hours.

I even refrained from saying a doctor had previously told me fatigue and pain during sex could mean I was asexual (“Heard someone talking about it on the radio – have you googled it?”), and that, after my therapist said I could be experiencing a type of “ghost trauma pain” from a sexual assault at the age of 16, I had briefly resorted to hypnotherapy. (It didn’t work. Neither did the yoga exercises; it is very hard to do downward dog when you haven’t slept for 48 hours from abdominal spasms.)

You can imagine my relief when, at the end of last year, I saw a specialist........

© The Age