A 26-year-old woman who is facing early menopause because of a debilitating condition has begun a petition to raise awareness.

Carla Cressy, a former model and businesswoman from Leigh, is battling endometriosis which she says has ruined her life.

Endometriosis is a painful condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb is found in other parts of the body.

It can cause lasting pain and sickness and some sufferers can struggle to get pregnant. There is currently no cure.

Ms Cressy is facing an early menopause and an abdominal operation to battle against the condition, which will leave her wearing a temporary stoma bag.

She said: “My entire life has been ruined by endometriosis after a misdiagnosis of nine years.

“I suffer with severe stage 4 endometriosis, adenomyosis, frozen pelvis disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

“I have faced life-threatening surgeries almost costing me my life, this disease has cost me my career as a model along with my hair and beauty business resulting in my life changing dramatically for the worst.”

Ms Cressy added: “I have been forced to give up my home and move in with family and I long to have my life back, however, this won’t be anytime soon due to the fact my endometriosis which has caused further damage since my previous surgeries. I am now facing more surgery due to the disease now spreading to my bowel, blocking my fallopian tubes, causing masses in my ovaries and furthermore damaging my stomach.

“I cannot have a child naturally and I am now awaiting a further surgery - my fourth surgery within just one year - along with talks of a fifth and sixth due to the damage endometriosis has had on my bowel and stomach.”

Ms Cressy is working to raise the profile of the condition.

She said: “I am working alongside Parliament to bring endometriosis into education for students 16 and above to educate young women on the signs to push for an earlier diagnosis.

“I have designed my own school education programme for endometriosis which is being pushed through Parliament. This includes posters I’ve designed myself to place within upper school cubicles and a lesson plan to brief the students.

Ms Cressy added: “There is no cure for endometriosis but I believe if a diagnosis is made sooner there will be a dramatic change.”

Her petition has gained support from MP Sir David Amess. To support Ms Cressy, visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/202334