When US tennis star Danielle Collins played in the Australian Open women’s singles final, it was a remarkable comeback after endometriosis pain left her barely able to compete at this time last year.

The 28-year-old from Florida underwent emergency surgery for the condition in April 2021 after years of suffering agonising periods.

WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: Endometriosis: Why does it take so long to be diagnosed?

“I had so many doctors tell me that painful periods were normal. This progressively got worse and worse,” Danielle said in an interview with the Women’s Tennis Association.

“The agony that I experienced from my menstrual cycles and from the endometriosis is some of the worst pain I’ve ever had. It was scary at times.”

Danielle Collins in the Australian Open.
Danielle Collins in the Australian Open. Credit: Graham Denholm/Getty Images

The common condition, which affects more than 11 per cent of Australian women, sees the lining of the womb grow in other parts of the body, according to Endometriosis Australia,

Symptoms include pelvic pain that puts life on hold around or during a woman’s period. It can impact fertility.

While endometriosis most often affects the reproductive organs it is frequently found in the bowel and bladder and has been found in muscle, joints, the lungs and the brain.

Danielle Collins has opened up about her battle with endometriosis.
Danielle Collins has opened up about her battle with endometriosis. Credit: Instagram/Danielle Collins

There is no cure, but pain medicine, hormonal treatment and surgery can provide relief.

For many women, symptoms are so variable it can take more than six years to get a diagnosis. For many women these years are spent in a great deal of pain.

Danielle Collins receives medical attention during a match.
Danielle Collins receives medical attention during a match. Credit: Sarah Reed/Getty Images

Tennis star Danielle recalled falling over on the court at the 2021 Australian Open and having a doctor rush out to help her due to the “contraction-like cramping” she experienced in her low pelvis and abdominal muscles.

As she traveled from tournament to tournament, Danielle said she tried to ignore the pain and take anti-inflammatories to alleviate it, but got to the point where they no longer worked.

Chevron Right Icon

‘I just couldn’t keep living my life like that’ – Danielle Collins

Her symptoms became more physically debilitating, including stabbing pain throughout her spine, leading to so much agony that it was impossible to play matches, she noted.

In the spring of 2021, the terrible back pain led Danielle to call her orthopedic doctor, who said her spine looked fine and couldn’t figure out what was wrong.