Women are all too familiar with the struggle to get their symptoms taken seriously by doctors. These are their stories, plus pro tips for how you can take charge of that gut feeling that something's wrong.

It Happened to Me: Real talk from women who've been there

For 6 Years, Doctors Kept Telling Me I Had PMS—but It Turned Out to Be Brain Cancer

Karissa Ostheimer, 34, regularly experienced brief yet terrifying episodes that left her frozen and unable to speak. But only when she had one behind the wheel and crashed her car did doctors consider they could be related to something far more serious than her period.
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My Doctor Dismissed My MS Symptoms as 'Stress'—Even Though My Body Was Going Numb

At 22 years old, when Ashley Ringstaff first went to the doctor complaining of numbness on her face, she had two young boys and was studying getting her degree. Her doctor prescribed her medication for stress and sent her on her way. It took over a year for her to be diagnosed with MS.
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Doctors Dismissed the Lump on My Neck as a ‘Swollen Lymph Node’ for 5 Years—but It Turned Out to Be Cancer

During her first year of medical school, Diana Cejas went to the doctor because she found a lump on her neck. She was told it was “nothing to worry about” and that antibiotics would take care of it.
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This Woman Refused to Leave the Hospital Until Doctors Properly Diagnosed Her Terrible Pelvic Pain

"You have to help me, something is very wrong," she begged the third ER doctor she saw. He listened to her and did the right tests, and a much more serious diagnosis emerged.
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A Doctor Told This New Mom to Lose Weight—but It Turned Out She Had Cancer

Jen Curran, 38, isn't the first woman to bring troubling symptoms to a doctor's attention and have them wrongly dismissed as weight-related. Here's how to help make sure this doesn't happen to you.
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When This Woman Went to Her Doctor With Lyme Disease Symptoms, She Was Told She Should “Try Meditation”

At a specialist's office, Katie Wood, 37, explained she felt very unwell and believed it was related to a tick bite months earlier. "He looked me up and down and replied, 'You don’t look unwell,'" she recalls.
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Doctors Kept Dismissing My Back Pain—Until I Was Finally Diagnosed With Terminal Cancer

One doctor insisted Tori Geib's pain was caused by depression; another brushed it off as work stress. Then the truth emerged: She had stage 4 breast cancer that had spread to her spine.
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My Vagina Felt Like It Was on Fire for a Year—but Doctors Kept Telling Me It Was Just a Yeast Infection

A gut feeling told Ashley Collins, 27, that the pelvic pain and burning that took over her daily life and made sex hurt was caused by something other than what her many doctors believed.
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More Misdiagnosed

You Got This: How to be your own advocate

Diagnostic Errors Make Up One-Third of Serious Malpractice Claims, Study Shows

Misdiagnoses are the most common, costly, and dangerous medical errors.