Most young women at the age of 20 juggle college, work part-time and have a social life – and the hardest thing is to decide which dress should not be repeated for a night out.
Still, a Sydney woman had to deal with the shock of discovering that she might never have children because she was diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease, endometriosis.
Maddie Green, 24, told Daily Mail Australia that it all started when she had pain in her hip.
Maddie, who was then 20, said that she had never thought much about it and assumed that it was a burden of training at the gym.
Maddie Green (pictured), 24, said it all started when she had a pain in her hip when she was twenty. After an ultrasound, she discovered that she had the debilitating autoimmune disease, endometriosis.
Maddie (photo) after her second keyhole operation, laparoscopy, in 2015 at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
When the pain got worse, she decided to have it checked with the doctor.
Throughout the school it was always very heavy and painful. I thought that some people were like that and that some people had it easy.
Her doctor made an ultrasound at the time and when the results finally came back, Maddie received a phone call that changed her life forever.
She was told that she had endometriosis and she was probably infertile.
While Maddie had never heard of the disease, the thought of being barren broke her heart.
She stopped the tears and said she was frantically trying to find Google in the middle of a parking garage.
Maddie (photo) after her second operation in 2017. When he received the first diagnosis, she said she had never heard of the disease, but the thought of being barren broke her heart
Ultrasound images of Maddie's first laparoscopy in 2015 (photo left) after the endometriosis was lasered. And ultrasound of her second operation in 2017 (photo right) when a second cyst was removed
I was 21 and he said fertility, you already look like you 35.
When Maddie was in high school at Loreto Kirribilli, a girls' school in the Lower North Shore, she said that she had never thought much about her menstrual deviations.
But looking back, she said that it became logical that something was wrong.
Maddie, who is also an avid horseman, got her period very young at the age of 10 or 11.
She also had very heavy menstrual pain and had to take days off from school when the pain was really crippling.
Maddie also had a very heavy flow – even if she sometimes had to use a night pillow and tampon.
Yet she said that she did not think much about it, assuming that some people were lucky and others were not with their menstruation.
& # 39; Throughout the school it was always very heavy and painful. I thought some people were like that and some people had it easy, "she told Daily Mail Australia.
& # 39; I was 21 and he said fertile, you already look like you're 35 & # 39 ;, Maddie told Daily Mail Australia
Maddie saw the leading endometriosis specialist Dr. Michael Cooper who performed her keyhole operation
After receiving her diagnosis, Maddie saw leading endometriosis specialist Dr. Michael Cooper.
He told Maddie that she had stage four endometriosis and had never seen a case that was serious to anyone of her age before.
& # 39; I was 21 and he said fertility, you already look like you 35, & # 39; said Maddie.
When Maddie heard that, she felt almost paralyzed.
& # 39; That was very difficult because I knew that I always wanted to have children – from my childhood […].
& # 39; You think something is wrong with you. That was the hardest thing for me a few years ago. And remember why everyone can have normal periods. & # 39;
It was very confronting, but I'm looking at it, because I'm lucky I discovered that early – many women come to the age of 30 and discover that they live with them and have no options.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue that normally forms the uterus is found in other parts of the body, including the pelvis, the bladder, the fallopian tube which in some extreme cases can lead to pelvic pain and infertility.
In 2015 she had her first operation and it was a success.
Dr. Cooper took two cysts from her ovaries and most lesions.
A mirena coil (IUD) was also inserted to balance her hormones and to minimize the pain.
She also discovered that she had adenomyosis, a disease that involves the tissue that usually passes the uterus, begins to implant itself into the uterine muscle.
Maddie (photo right) said she is grateful to have all her loved ones by her side, especially her mother Debbie (photo left), who supported her during the rest of the day
Maddie took Instagram after her second operation. & # 39; … the most devastating thing to me was told 2 years ago that at the age of 21 you are already 35 years old & # 39;
Maddie underwent her first laparoscopy (photo) in 2017 to remove two cysts on her right and left ovaries
Today Maddie still gets daily pain – sometimes in the most unexpected times, like when she rides on her horse. Yet she said that she was relieved that she found out when she did.
It was very confronting, but I'm looking at it, because I'm lucky I came in early – many women come to their thirties and discover that they live with them and have no options, "she said.
The 24-year-old said she was so grateful to have all her loved ones by her side, especially her mother Debbie, who supported her everywhere.
Maddie (pictured left) was told that she had stage four endometriosis. Her specialist, Dr. Michael Cooper, told her that he had never seen a case that was serious to anyone of her age
While she accepts that more women love children until later, she said that our biology can not change.
I think many men and women have the idea that we can now have our career and that children can wait until we are 30-40.
& # 39; But what has not changed is our biology. The reproductive system of women does not change as quickly as a career and lifestyle change, "she said.
Maddie also hopes that schools will start to teach young women about endometriosis, so that they can detect and control possible problems at an early stage.
Endometriosis affects a dizzying one in ten Australian women.
Earlier this year, the Royal Women & # 39; s Hospital found that endometriosis costs the Australian economy as much as $ 12 billion a year.
The findings were followed by the announcement by the federal government of a $ 2.5 million subsidy program within the framework of the Medical Research Future Fund for endometriosis research.
Maddie is also an avid rider (pictured on the left). She said exercise with pilates and riding help with her life with endometriosis. Maddie and her friend Louis Meagher (photo right)