A teenager whose excruciating pain was dismissed for years as just “bad periods” burst into tears when a doctor finally diagnosed her with a chronic pain condition.
Since she first started menstruating, 19 years old Johnelle Mercer, from Las Vegas, would experience terrible pelvic pain, heavy breakthrough bleeding, and other painful and uncomfortable symptoms.
But after years of suffering while her pain was not taken seriously, Mercer was recently diagnosed with pelvic congestion syndrome, finally making her way to treatment.
In a viral video she shared on TikTok, the emotional teen starts sobbing and asks to hug her doctor when told they’ve found the cause of her symptoms.
Finally! A teen whose excruciating pain was dismissed for years as just ‘bad periods’ burst into tears when a doctor finally diagnosed her with a chronic pain condition
Suffering: Johnelle Mercer, 19, has had very painful periods since she started menstruating
Yes! She spent a year visiting doctors every two weeks seeking help and recording the moment she was told a doctor had finally figured out what was going on.
Video of her bursting into tears at the news has gone viral on TikTok
Mercer told BuzzFeed that her periods had always been painful and that she had also had pain and digestive problems for the rest of the month.
She suffered from pelvic pain, especially during her period, as well as lower back pain, uncontrollable bladder, bloating, pain during sex, heavy breakthrough bleeding and irritable bowels.
But until recently she was told that this was a pity but normal.
“My pain was always dismissed as a difficult period,” she said.
For a year prior to her diagnosis, she had a doctor’s appointment every other week to find the cause of her pain.
Finally, at the hospital, she got the good news from a medical professional that doctors had discovered what was going on.
In the video she shared on TIkTok, which has garnered 22.1 million views, an off-camera woman can be heard telling her, “They’ve found the reason for your pain that can be treated.”
Las Vegas teen had pelvic pain, heavy breakthrough bleeding, bloating and uncontrollable bladder
The diagnosis was pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS), a condition that causes chronic pelvic pain
Mercer’s face falls instantly as she is overwhelmed with emotion.
‘They did it? Did they really do it? You’re not lying to me? Did they find it?’ she sobs as the woman places a hand on her head and then holds her hand.
“Finally—can I give her a hug?” she asks.
The diagnosis was: pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS), a condition that causes chronic pelvic pain.
According to Cedars SinaiIt is caused by veins in the lower abdomen that stop working properly, causing blood to pool and enlarge the veins, changing their shape.
Symptoms include pelvic pain that lasts for at least six months, pain before or during a period, the sudden need to urinate, and enlarged and distorted veins on the buttocks, vulva, or thighs.
Changing positions, having sex, standing and walking for long periods of time can all make the pain worse.
The condition is difficult to diagnose because pelvic pain can be the result of many conditions
Mercer is now on her way to treatment and has seen her video touch millions of people
Although it is more common in women who have had multiple children, Mercer has never given birth.
The condition is difficult to diagnose because pelvic pain can result from many conditions. Doctors may need urine tests, blood tests, pelvic ultrasound, Doppler ultrasound, CT scans or MRIs, laparoscopy, and venography to make a diagnosis
Treatment can vary, but may include hormone medications, pain medications, or surgery to remove damaged veins, the uterus, or ovaries.
Other procedures such as sclerotherapy and embolization can close off damaged veins.
Mercer is now on her way to treatment and has seen her video touch millions of people.
“I think this video has gone viral because so many women can understand their problems being rejected in a medical setting,” she told BuzzFeed.
‘The message I have for people who are in the same situation is not to give up; find a new doctor if yours won’t listen. I reached my point of giving up, and I finally got answers,” she said.