"Endometriosis"

About: Havering PCT

(as the patient),

First started to suffer with Endometriosis in 2003. It manifested symptoms of continuous pelvic pain which worsened during menstruation, very painful and heavy periods, mood swings, extreme tiredness, poor skin, sweating and painful intercourse.

My GP misdiagnosed me time and time again with pelvic infections and merely painful periods without examination. He considered me to be a non-urgent case. One time I got so bad that I nearly passed out and presented at A and E, only to be referred back to my GP. When he wouldn't see me I became very tearful in the reception area and was ushered to a back room to calm down. I was then seen by another GP, who told me to get pregnant as in his opinion this gives you a good clear out and resolves the problem. I was not happy with his comments. I was in such a panic by now, as nobody seemed to be taking me seriously and I was worried that I may have had Ovarian Cancer which would be left until it was too late.

I decided to lodge a complaint with the GMC about the way I was being treated by my GP and his surgery. I was referred to my local PCT and a hearing was arranged. The outcome of this was recommendations made to the GP and the PCT would monitor him for a year.

The PCT recommended me to a new GP who is excellent. He referred me as an urgent case to Gynecology at my local hospital. Endometriosis was suspected, a Laparoscpy was arranged for diagnosis only. My new GP intervened and arranged with the surgeon that would be performing the Laparoscopy to treat my condition at the same time, as I was in so much pain. This was done in July 2004 and I had no more pain after that. It was pointed out however that my bowels were inflamed indicating IBS.

There was a problem conceiving my first child after this. It took my husband and I two years to conceive our daughter and were nearly referred by my GP for IVF. We even considered adoption. (I think it must have taken my body a long time to recover). I had my daughter in 2008 and then went on to have my son in 2010. Both were delivered via c-sections due to the smallness of my pelvis. (We conceived our son so quickly after our daughter deliberately to avoid secondary infertility due to my condition. It seems we were just in time).

Endometriosis is a condition where the Endometrium, (cells from the lining of the uterus), detach themselves and travel up through the fallopian tubes and outside the reproductive organs. They then attach themselves to organs including the ovaries and bowel. When menstruation occurs these cells bleed and can cause Endometriomas, (blood filled cysts). IBS is common in Endometriosis sufferers. Endometriosis is very painful and can render a sufferer infertile if left undiagnosed and untreated. Endometriosis is an incurable disease, but it is treatable and not life threatening. If left untreated scarring can occur on the organs that it attaches to causing irreparable damage.

I am grateful for GP acting so fast to resolve this problem for me, I feel that if it was left to my previous GP I may not have had children at all. I consider my GP to be a professional, knowledgeable, conscientious, compassionate and caring doctor who is passionate about his job and respectful to his patients.

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