Every woman with endometriosis has a unique story about her journey with the disease. Autumn Weimann’s may be one of the most unusual.
The 31-year-old Orange County, Calif., resident started feeling symptoms in high school one day each month. That lasted until she was 23, when they vanished for the next seven years. In 2022, at the age of 30, she inexplicably suffered from severe depression, followed by the return of the one-day-a-month symptoms. Finally diagnosed two months ago with endometriosis, Weimann is all in on figuring out her body, taking control of her health, and using her platform to help others with the disease.
“I’ve been vocal since October and posting raw videos about what I’ve been going through. I know it might sound weird to share something so personal, but the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and I’ll continue to do it,” Weimann said. “Spreading endometriosis awareness has become my passion. It’s all happening for a reason.”
Weimann’s day job is designing and selling shirts for a Los Angeles apparel company, while her entrepreneurial spirit consumes the rest of her time. She wrote a bestselling self-care book in 2020 titled The Grl Who Bangs, launched an all-natural hair supplement company last year called Bangin Hair, and has 700,000 followers as a social media influencer and blogger where she shares stories about fashion, marriage, traveling, and now endometriosis.
Weimann’s first endometriosis “episode,” as she calls it, happened when she was 15.
“It was one day during my freshman year of high school. A student said, ‘You’re turning green,’ and within the blink of an eye, I vomited in the middle of class and had to be carried out by security,” Weimann said. “The second episode was when I was 16. Security found me passed out in the school hallway and had to call 911.”
Weimann didn’t know what was wrong, though the one commonality between both episodes was that she’d started her cycle those days and had bad cramps. But it didn’t make sense to her or her mom that she could end up in the hospital because of her period.
“From there, we saw every specialist you can think of—a urologist, cardiologist, nutritionist. None of them could figure it out and said everything was fine,” said Weimann, a vegetarian since she was seven. “My OBGYN then prescribed birth control to see if that would help. It worked—I didn’t have a period for a year—but I didn’t like that, so I got off it.”
When she was 18, Weimann’s OBGYN diagnosed her with dysmenorrhea, or painful menstrual cramps, a symptom of endometriosis—though endometriosis was never mentioned.
“The only way I really knew how to deal with dysmenorrhea was by meditating and relaxing, so I said, ‘Fine, I can do that,’” Weimann said.
And it helped. But Weimann was in a horrific car accident when she was 21, T-boned by a truck and pushed into a telephone pole. She said the accident triggered vasovagal syncope, which is when your body reacts to something (such as a traumatic experience) that causes your blood pressure and heart rate to drop, leading you to faint.
“So when my cycle would start, and with the vasovagal syncope now being a thing, it was like a perfect storm,” Weimann said. “I would continue to shake, vomit, and faint that one day every month. It lasted until I was 23.”
That’s when she met her future husband.
“He’s big into fitness and nutrition, and he changed my lifestyle,” Weimann said. “I did more weightlifting and workouts and drank protein shakes. And I wouldn’t have another episode for the next seven years.”
Weimann doesn’t know if her new routines made the episodes vanish, but she has no other explanation. She wasn’t on any medication, including birth control.
“I still had some bad cramps, which my primary doctor said was just the dysmenorrhea, but there was no more vomiting or fainting,” she said. “It was amazing. I thought the worst was over.”
And it was—until the start of 2022.
“I was hit out of nowhere with hardcore depression,” Weimann said. “It was bizarre. Everything had been good in my life. There were no changes to my lifestyle. It was to the extent that I was suicidal and couldn’t be left alone. I was always sleeping, couldn’t get out of bed, and isolated myself from family and friends. I was putting my phone on privacy for most of the day. Nobody knew why, and I couldn’t tell them why because I didn’t know.”
The depression lasted until one night last October.
“I had started my cycle and woke up at about 1 A.M. and thought I was dying,” Weimann said. “I couldn’t feel my legs, stand up, or breathe. It was horrible to the point that my husband, who’s a first responder, had to call 911. It was the first time he’d seen one of my episodes, and it was the worst one I’d ever had.”
The hospital visit revealed that Weimann’s glucose and potassium levels were low. After an IV and an ultrasound of her stomach that came back negative for cysts, she was discharged. But Weimann knew something was off. She met with a hormone coach, who suggested she take a saliva hormone test. The test showed Weimann had a severe hormonal imbalance, likely explaining her depression.
That’s when Weimann took matters into her own hands.
With her episodes continuing each month after the one in October, she enrolled in a natural health school to learn how to heal herself holistically. She also formed a team of healers, including an acupuncturist, herbalist, chiropractor, and yoga instructor.
“My acupuncturist told me in February about endometriosis and suggested I get tested,” Weimann said. “It was the first time I’d heard of it.”
Weimann had a laparoscopy in May, which confirmed she had the disease on her uterus. The surgeon removed it, and though Weimann had another episode in June, she didn’t faint, making her hopeful that she’s on the right track.
“I’m glad I have answers, but I’m so frustrated that in 15 years, I’d never heard of this,” she said. “I thought I was crazy and the only one with this pain and these episodes. But now that I’ve spoken about it publicly, my social media has blown up with thousands of women thanking me for talking about this.”
Weimann is determined to find natural ways to deal with the disease and maintain good health in general, and she’s taken it to an extreme. She researches and studies everything regarding health, including what’s in the objects we touch and the foods we eat.
“We removed all the plastic in the house, changed our water system and cookware, and have 5G radiation protectors on our phones. We’ve gone hardcore in detoxing everything,” she said. “And while I am a vegan now, I take a fish oil pill and a fish collagen, and I drink chicken broth and cook with ghee because I know my body needs these extra omegas and protein.”
She’s also added a “period prep” to her monthly routine, which she shares on social media.
“I started it last month and do it the week leading up to my cycle,” she said. “So if my cycle is in a week, I’ll get an IV today for hydration, sit in a redlight sauna tomorrow, take a yoga class the next day—all natural things that I think will prepare me for it.”
Weimann recently found EndoFound through her research and plans to work with the organization to bring awareness to endometriosis.
“I really think this is my calling, and I’m going to keep talking about it because it’s having such a positive effect on so many women,” Weimann said. “Everyone needs to know that they’re not alone, and they shouldn’t be afraid to get second opinions and do their own research. There is a way out of this dark tunnel. I promise.”
To learn more about Autumn Weimann and follow her on social media, visit her website at www.grlwithbangs.com.
*Patient stories submitted to EndoFound.org are the patient's views, not necessarily those of the foundation. All testimonials are from real patients, may not reflect the typical patient’s experience, and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results.