From aged 15 I had very bad period and ovulation pain. GPs didn’t seem to take me seriously, dismissing my complaints as simple period pain.
“When I went to university, the pain got worse, but my GP just tested me for chlamydia. One day I even passed out and was taken to A&E. This time, I was told I just needed more sugar in my diet. It was implied that as all women have periods, why should I be complaining? I felt like a wimp, but the pain was so bad, some days I was unable to get out of bed.
Without help, instead I adjusted my life. By now I had graduated and was working as a solicitor, so when it was my period, I would work shorter days and avoid meetings in London.
But the pain got worse. As I approached my late twenties I was in pain almost every day, penetrative sex hurt, and then one day I passed out again.
Then when I was 28, a chance conversation with someone at work made all the difference. Whilst describing my pain, she asked if I’d been tested for endometriosis as my symptoms sounded like what she’d experienced. As I hadn’t had much luck with GPs, I decided to be seen privately and tests confirmed that I did have endometriosis. It was removed and I was given the pill to better manage it. I felt physically better after the treatment, but most importantly, I now had an explanation for the pain and an action plan to tackle it. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted.
It meant I could move on to build the family that I had dreamed of with my partner for almost ten years by then. It wasn’t clear if the endometriosis had impacted my fertility, but being a same sex couple, we had decided to undergo IVF anyway. We had assessed the situation, and felt this was a better route than risk multiple rounds of IUI.
We researched clinics and decided to be treated at Oxford Fertility, we were also able to attend appointments at its satellite clinic Worcester Fertility, and we’re so glad we did. The team is so supportive and they really care. They have given us good advice and are closely monitoring our progress. After years of unexplained pain, we are now excited about what the future could bring.
For anyone who thinks their period pain isn’t right, I would say do your research – Endometriosis UK has good resources, and then speak with a GP, raising the question about this very common, but lesser known condition.”