IMAGINE having an emergency c-section… when you’re not pregnant – and may never be able to have children.

Imagine enduring three different operations in a year, one of which nearly cost you your life, and knowing you soon have to yet again go under the knife –yet it still won’t make you better.

Imagine waking up every day in pain and feeling constantly full-up, even though you’ve eaten nothing and weight is falling off you.

Carla Cressy, 25, of Danescroft Close, Leigh, doesn’t have to imagine it. For her this is the reality of living with endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb (endometrium) is found in other parts of the body. It’s painful, has far-reaching consequences and there’s no cure.

Carla explains: “I was diagnosed in January last year after continuously being taken into hospital for fainting, pain and nausea which became constant and not only when around the time of my cycle.

“But I believe I have suffered with endometriosis since the time I started my period at the age of 14.”

Since the diagnosis Carla’s life is almost unrecognisable.

“I had modelled from the age of just nine and the pictures were published in magazines and catalogues.

“But since being diagnosed I have undergone three lots of surgeries. Key hole to remove chocolate cysts and kissing cysts, which is where your ovaries are touching each other with adhesions caused by endometriosis.

“An emergency operation for a suspected appendix rupture, but it was proven it wasn’t – it was my endometriosis! And an emergency C-section, in January, to remove litres of poison, possibly from chocolate cysts or infection from maybe the coil.

“It almost cost me my life, leaving me fighting a horrific infection. I spent over two weeks in Southend Hospital.

“Now my body is ruined and completely covered in scars. I always paint on a smile and put it to the back of my mind. However I won’t be posing in a bikini any time soon.”

And despite going through all of this, endometriosis, is still plaguing Carla.

“I’m due another major surgery any time now at London University Hospital with a top endometriosis surgeon to defuse my organs and hopefully keep the endometriosis at bay for a few months. It’s a huge operation which takes between four-six hours. However it has been made clear to me that there is not a cure and it may return again. And if this doesn’t work, which there is just a 50/50 chance of, as there is no cure I will need to consider a full hysterectomy or a womb transplant.

“I keep trying to think positive however the thought of the surgeons telling me I may have to have a hysterectomy does frighten me because I’ve always had this image of me with a child.”

Carla had to leave her job 18 months ago because of her constant endometriosis flare-ups and being unable to function on her pain relief medication.

And on a day-to-day basis life with endometriosis is hard.

“The worst part I feel is not being able to just get on with my life, I’ve become distant from my social circle and I’m usually a very sociable person.

“The hardest part is keeping my weight on as I feel a constant fullness. I can wake up and go through the day without eating a single thing and not even realise. Every meal I have I have to force feed myself.”

She worries her condition will overshadow future relationships and in many ways her condition has forced her to grow up faster than her peers.

“I don’t go out clubbing and act crazy, I simply look at the bigger picture and feel I can’t afford to waste my time and energy on someone who I don’t feel is my future. “I remember being in hospital for just over two weeks and I would have guys messaging me and I would cringe and think, I’m in hospital I’m fighting a disease that’s almost killed me, I’m 3st under weight, I can’t even take myself to the toilet and I’m having messages from drunk guys at 3am. It puts a lot into perspective.”

Carla has now started blogging about her journey with her condition, in the hope of helping others living with endometriosis.

“I feel endometriosis needs more awareness. When I was diagnosed I wasn’t clear on what it was and now I’m at the final stage of it with a frozen pelvis there is little online I’ve managed to research.

“I’d say to other women with the condition, don’t give up, don’t stop eating and reach out. I’ve had a awful journey so far and I have more major surgeries to come but I am still learning about this myself, and if other women can reach out and speak about this there will be more of an understanding and awareness.”

Follow Carla’s blog at

  • A new support group has been set up in Colchester for the one in ten women who are affected by endometriosis.

The North Essex (Colchester) Endometriosis Support Group is led by Christianne Carrick, of Cooks Crescent, Wivenhoe, and Sheree Tralau, of Tall Trees, Myland, who were diagnosed with endometriosis in 2001 and 2013.

Mrs Carrick said: “I experienced severe period pain from my teenage years and was finally diagnosed with endometriosis in 2001 when I was 27.

“A member of my family has recently been diagnosed with the condition and I was shocked to find that the diagnosis and treatment has not changed much.

“I would like to be able to share my experiences and help support other women who are dealing with the symptoms of endometriosis.”

The support group is a place where women can go for information and support, and to meet women in a similar situation.

At the last meeting on Saturday, Mr Barry Whitlow, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist based at Colchester General Hospital, gave a 10-minute talk followed by a questions and answer session.

The hospital is designated by the British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy as a centre of excellence for laparoscopic (“keyhole”) surgery for endometriosis.

  •  Anyone wanting more information about the North Essex (Colchester) Endometriosis Support Group can email Sheree and Christianne on