At age 11, Indi was in debilitating pain. A doctor told her the only way to fix it was to get pregnant.

“I was 11 and at the GP with my mum. I had been off school a lot, screaming and crying from the pain. This GP told me that the only way to get rid of the pain was to have a baby,” Indi recounts.

“I felt so incredibly lost and devastated. I wasn’t even a teenager yet, there was no way I would be having a baby. And to think I had to wait 10 or 20 years from that point to have a ‘solution’ to the pain, it was so unhelpful.”

It also left Indi’s mother frustrated too, given she knew herself that conceiving a baby was not at all a cure for endometriosis. They went to see another GP, only for that health professional to suggest Indi was “lying” about her “claims” of having pain.

“That GP then said to me ‘Well if you do actually have endo, and you aren’t lying, you can only get rid of endo by having a baby, it settles it all down’. It was a pretty upsetting experience.”

Thousands of other Australian women can relate to Indi’s story. Below are just a few of their stories:

“When I was 16, a doctor told me I should fall pregnant to ‘get rid of’ the endometriosis.”

“I was 21 and crying in the doctor’s office when he told me I had to fall pregnant [to alleviate my endometriosis symptoms]. I said ‘I’m not seeing anyone’, and he said ‘Well go out tonight and have a one-night stand’.”

“When I was 16 the doctor told me my options were either to have a hysterectomy or get pregnant.”

“I’ve had two babies and still have awful endometriosis pain and periods.”

The irony though is there’s very minimal evidence to suggest pregnancy is a treatment for endometriosis. In fact, advice like this is a total fallacy, according to the latest research.