Doctors are being urged to more seriously consider the diagnosis of endometriosis, after women across the country wait an average of eight years before having the condition recognised.
It comes as a report released this week by the The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Endometriosis claims not enough has been done in the past 10 years to improve the situation.
Cassie Ratcliffe, from Rochester, visited her doctor's surgery more than 100 times between the ages of 14 and 18 before she was finally referred.
Now 23, she said: "It took four years, with the doctors always saying that it's normal, you should be experiencing pain like that.
"I had time off school - when I started A-levels my attendance was about 60%.
"They try you on different types of tablets, different forms of contraception because they feel like that'll fix it, but if it's endometriosis obviously it doesn't."
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue which is similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, like the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
The symptoms include intense period pain, pain during sex, pain in your back and lower stomach and can cause difficulties getting pregnant.
Cassie first started experiencing pains when she was 14, enduring nearly fortnightly trips to the doctors before she was finally taken seriously.
She said: "It wasn't until a new doctor joined my GP surgery and I went to her out of chance. She referred me to a gynaecologist straight away.
"She looked back through the amount of times I'd actually been to the doctors and she was just shocked that I hadn't been referred.
"I must have gone more than 100 times in those four years."
The St John's Catholic Comprehensive teacher said an earlier diagnosis of the condition would have meant her own education would not have been so disrupted.
She said: "I probably would have actually been in school. It obviously affected me in terms of my attendance, my grades as well.
"I come from a big family too and my sisters just thought it wasn't as bad as it seemed, because if it was then the doctors would have said something."
Cassie was told by the gynaecologist that often the symptoms are ignored in younger women by GPs, who routinely chalk it up to pains commonly felt from the effect of periods and puberty.
She also had advice for young women who believe the pain they are experiencing could be endometriosis and are not being taken seriously enough by their doctor.
"You need to push harder, you need to bring in evidence," she said.
"Make a diary, write down every time the pain woke you up. Being woken up from pain isn't normal.
"Don't just wait for them to refer you, you kind of have to take control."
Nikki Blackmore, of Vigo Village, Gravesend, struggled to get diagnosed with the condition 30 years ago, and is surprised to see how little the issue seems to have progressed
The 55-year-old said: "Thirty years on and nothing had changed.
"Twice I was diagnosed with suspected appendicitis, and the main problem is that they give you painkillers so once you've got the pain relief it doesn't hurt anymore, then they just send you on your way.
"That was quite frustrating. I probably went four or five times with pains in my right-hand side."
It also took Nikki four years before she finally got a confirmation of her condition.
The inquiry led by the APPG on the condition concluded that in its survey of more than 10,000 people, 58% visited their GP more than 10 times and 53% visited A&E due to the pain they experienced.
Sir David Amess MP, chair of the APPG on Endometriosis, said: "The report provides a stark picture of the reality of living with endometriosis, including the huge, life-long impact it may have on all aspects of life.
"It is not acceptable that endometriosis and its potentially debilitating and damaging symptoms are often ignored or not taken seriously – or downplayed as linked to the menstrual cycle and periods.
"All UK Governments must take the recommendations in this report seriously and act to ensure that everyone with endometriosis has a prompt diagnosis, along with access to the physical and mental health support they need to manage their condition.
"The APPG heard many accounts of people with endometriosis not having access to the specialist care they need. Only 19% of those who responded to the survey knew they were seen by a specialist centre, and 90% would have liked access to psychological support yet this was never offered."