For women experiencing pain and illness, research like this study in the Journal of Women’s Health shows it's often harder for them to get proper care compared to men.
At 28 years old, newly diagnosed and receiving treatment for endometriosis, Jordan Guzior finally has an explanation for medical issues she's been enduring most of her life.
At 13, she began experiencing painful periods and joint pain. The symptoms were so bad, she stopped doing the things she loved like sports.
"I saw multiple doctors about it and basically I would get the same answer every time," said Guzior. "It was just 'you're too young to be having those issues' and then that was it."
With no solutions, her physical and mental health suffered. By college, Jordan's lack of confidence in the health care system made her quit seeking care altogether.
"You're the only person that knows what's going on inside of you, and if you're explaining that and you're constantly being put down and told that it's nothing or you're too young to have those problems or all that doesn't happen, then you really start to believe that," said Guzior.
Gynecologic surgeon Thomas Cacciola with Albany Medical Center said stories like Guzior's are ones he hears on a daily basis. With symptoms like painful periods and ovulation, infertility, painful sex or chronic pelvic pain, Cacciola says endometriosis is tricky to diagnose for a couple of reasons. Until recently, it could only be diagnosed through surgery.
"The idea that we tell people that their abnormal symptoms are normal, it makes people feel alone, like they're crazy," said Cacciola.
This isn’t just an endometriosis issue. Medical experts say gender bias in health care is widespread and leads to serious impacts on health outcomes for women.
With new, less invasive diagnostic tools, endometriosis is becoming easier to identify.
The data isn't perfect, because many cases still go undiagnosed, but, Cacciola says 1 in 10 women have it, and many aren't treated for it.
"For me, endometriosis is a bit of a love-hate relationship," said Cacciola. "I love that I can help people. I hate how much it destroys; it can destroy their lives."
He stresses the importance of finding the right medical team, asking questions, being prepared and trusting yourself.
Guzior’s desire to grow her family was the motivation she needed to give doctors another shot. About a year ago, she had surgery to remove a cyst and got her endometriosis diagnosis.
"It's definitely coming later in life than I originally envisioned," said Guzior. "But we know it'll happen when it's supposed to happen, and we're excited for that time to come, and we're just going to keep working towards that goal."
She says she's come to learn that while the journey can be frustrating and unfair, it’s one worth fighting for.
"Speaking out for yourself is the best thing that you can do," said Guzior. "You know, you're your biggest ally, and women's health is equally as important and you know it. It can be hard, but we're just as important as everybody else."