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Endometriosis Awareness Month: Hear from two of our own 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

March 1st marked the beginning of Endometriosis Awareness Month and we at Pfizer recognize the importance of endometriosis and its impact on peoples’ lives.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. This can lead to painful, and sometimes debilitating, symptoms.[1],[2] For people born with a uterus, it affects as many as 10% of those of reproductive age. That’s about 190 million people globally. [1],[3] 

Beyond those personally afflicted with endometriosis, this is a condition that can have an impact on the people around them as well. Partners, families, friends, colleagues: all can be affected. In support of creating awareness this month, two of our own Pfizer employees who have endometriosis came forward to share their experiences.


Most endometriosis symptoms are rooted in pain. Severe menstrual cramps – those that are more intense and longer-lasting than average menstrual cramps – are common. [1],[4]   

“I had extremely painful menstrual cramps almost from when I got my first period,” recalls Nancy. “I dreaded my period. On day 27 of my cycle, I’d think, ‘Oh my God, tomorrow’s the day.’ I remember this one time, I was so disoriented from the pain that I got on my bus on the wrong side of the road. At that point, I did not have it in me to get off and figure out how to go back the other way. So, instead of going home, I just sat on the bus and did the whole loop.”

Other common symptoms include chronic daily pelvic pain, painful sex, pain during urination or bowel movements, lower back pain, excessive menstrual bleeding, and gastrointestinal upsets (diarrhea, constipation, and nausea). [1],[4] Every person experiences their symptoms differently. Some people with endometriosis have no symptoms at all. Others find their painful symptoms cause fatigue, feelings of depression or isolation, problems with sex or relationships, and an inability to work or attend social events. [1] 

Difficulty getting pregnant is also often associated with endometriosis. In fact, endometriosis affects as many as 50% of people born with a uterus, who are experiencing infertility.* [1] 

“What triggered it was that I was trying to get pregnant. It took me a whole year to do so," said Sophie. “After that, I just wanted to know what I had.”

After suffering with their symptoms for well over a decade, both Nancy and Sophie shared that their struggles with getting pregnant is what led to receiving their diagnosis of endometriosis in their 30s.

Endometriosis is a complex disease with no quick or easy method of diagnosis. A delay in diagnosis is not uncommon; it often takes 7-12 years from onset of symptoms to a definitive diagnosis. Sometimes diagnosis can only be confirmed laparoscopically, as was the case for both Nancy and Sophie.  Additionally, diagnostic delays can be in part due to the mistaken belief that endometriosis symptoms are “normal”, especially among adolescents. [1]-[3] 

“The fact that I was dealing with this crazy pain, that I had a lot of menstrual bleeding - I thought it was normal,” recalls Sophie. “For a long time – until into my adulthood – I thought it was just part of menstruating.”

Despite the challenges associated with endometriosis, Nancy and Sophie reflect on how things have changed for the positive since they started their endometriosis journeys:  

“It’s crazy to think back to what I knew then compared to what is available today for people to learn about it,” Nancy said. “I’m pretty sure the first time I heard about endometriosis is when I went to see a specialist at age 30.”

Sophie agreed, “On the internet, you can find all kinds of information. And it feels like there are less taboos than there were 30-40 years ago. I didn’t talk about my period with my friends when I was young. Now, it feels like young people are sharing much more with each other.”

We asked Nancy and Sophie what advice they would pass on to people who are at earlier stages in their endometriosis journeys:

“Find a doctor that will listen to you,” said Nancy. “Don’t give up!”

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” added Sophie. “Listen to your body and talk about it. If you don’t share, the physician won’t know what you have. This is what happened to me for many years.”

Pfizer’s commitment to health and people born with a uterus is rooted in a strong foundation of medicines for helping this population. We are driven by our commitment to diversity and inclusion, our focus on innovation, and our value of healthcare and education.

For more information on the health of people born with a uterus, visit the Women’s Health Coalition at

[1] The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Endometriosis. 2024.
[2] Leyland N, Casper R, Laberge P, Singh SS; The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Endometriosis: diagnosis and management. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2010;32(7 Suppl 2):S1-S32.
[3] World Health Organization. Endometriosis. 2023.
[4] Mayo Clinic. Endometriosis. 2023.

* Based on people who underwent laparoscopic assessment for infertility. 

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