Steph's Story "My sister's laparoscopic surgey led me to surgery and my own diagnosis"

I’ve had period pain for as long as I can remember.  My Mum had always had period pain so did my sister and I thought it was normal.

When I was 15, I went and saw a gynaecologist about it.  I was sent for an ultrasound which didn’t show anything abnormal, so surgery was recommended for me.  At 15 years old, I thought this was an overreaction and my Mum and I didn’t really know much about endometriosis so I opted simply to go on the pill.

Five years later, my younger sister opted to have laparoscopic surgery; they found that she had quite bad endometriosis for her age.  This is when my family started to pressure me to have the surgery too.  My sister, my parents and my partner all thought it would be the best idea.  What really pushed me was when my partner said it had to be better than what I was going through now.  I was still convinced that the surgery was an overreaction, however, I went and saw a new gynaecologist and he recommended the same thing.  In the end, I agreed so my family would get off my back.

I had surgery in early April. As it turns out, I had really severe endometriosis; they found it in 11 sites in my abdominal cavity.  My ligaments and bladder were severely affected.  And my gynaecologist told me that I was 6 months away from losing my fertility - this was a huge shock for me and it took a while to get used to.

The surgery didn’t fix everything as I had hoped.  At the beginning of July, I was referred back to my gynaecologist for a change of management.  He now thinks I have “micro-endometriosis” that is too small to operate on; I am now trying new ways of management.  I will have to have surgery again in 9 months as it’s highly likely that it will have come back.

Overall it wasn’t the outcome I had hoped for, but it’s a lot better than it would have been had I not done anything about it.  I’m eternally grateful for my family’s persistence.

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