Out in the Open

Twenty years to diagnosis: One woman's endometriosis story

Comedian Brandi CK La Perle shares her experience with endometriosis.
It took 22 years to properly diagnose comedian Brandi CK La Perle with endometriosis. Now, she spreads awareness about the disease.

Imagine being told that the pain you were feeling was normal.

For Edmonton-based comedian, Brandi CK La Perle, this is a story she knows all too well. Since age 9, Brandi suffered from swelling eyes and throat, rapid weight loss and excruciating menstrual pain, but it wasn't until 2013 — 22 years after the her symptoms started — that she was properly diagnosed.

Since then, Brandi has devoted herself to spreading awareness about the disease and rectifying the misinformation floating online. 

Affecting an estimated 176 million people worldwide and about 500,000 Canadian women — and, in rare cases, men — endometriosis creates lesions throughout the body that can scar any organ and cause significant bleeding. The symptoms range from fatigue and infertility, to painful sex and debilitating pain in the bowel and bladder, especially during menstruation.

While celebrities like Lena Dunham and Padma Lakshmi have spoken up about their personal experiences with the disease, many have never heard of it. Brandi opens up about her long journey to diagnosis, living with endometriosis and founding Alberta's WorldWide Endomarch Team.

For more information about endometriosis please visit Endometriosis Network Canada and Endopaedia.