A TEENAGER who claims her GP "wouldn't listen" to her has decided to speak out about her often misdiagnosed condition.

Aimee Gill, aged 17, from Taunton, is sharing her personal experience of living with endometriosis, which affects 1.5 million women in the UK.

Aimee took matters into her own hands after feeling helpless and ignored and wants to encourage others to talk about the condition during Endometriosis Awareness Month, which runs until the end of March.

Endometriosis occurs when cells similar to the ones in the lining of the womb grow outside of the uterus in areas such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder and elsewhere in the body.

The debilitating condition can only be confirmed with a surgical examination called a laparoscopy, which is carried out under general anaesthetic, with patients usually going home the same day.

The invisible nature of endometriosis can lead to its being downplayed by others as simply 'a nasty menstrual cycle'.

Symptoms vary, but often include pelvic pain, constipation and diarrhoea, which frequently leads to an incorrect diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome.

Aimee's problems began when she was 12, but the condition wasn't diagnosed until she was 14.

She said: "I ended up missing a lot of school because the pain was so bad I couldn't get out of bed.

"It wasn't just in the abdomen, where normal period pain occurs. I felt it in my back and my hips.

"When I spoke to my friends at school and they said they didn't experience this, I knew something was wrong.

"I realised I needed to see my GP because of how bad the pain was.

"I was also getting a lot of issues with my bowels, which was linked to my period.

"When I first spoke to my GP, he told me it was either IBS or dairy intolerance.

"When I mentioned endometriosis, following research I had done independently, he said I was too young. I was dismissed.

"I felt lost at the time and it had a knock-on effect on my mental health because my GP wouldn't listen to me.

"I spent a lot of hours crying to myself and my parents. You start to think perhaps you are making it up."

Aimee was diagnosed with endometriosis by a gynaecologist in 2017, but is still waiting to see a specialist endometriosis team to determine if the illness has spread to her bowels.

Aimee runs her own small charity on Instagram called Cards of Positivity and distributes care packs to people with chronic illnesses to remind them they're not alone.