My GP Dismissed My Endometriosis Pain Because I Don't Want A Baby Yet

November 2020

Hi ______, 

I hope you’re well! Just popping this pitch through, which I hope is of interest. 

“Physicians reduced me to just my fertility” 

Being diagnosed with the 5th and 6th benign ovarian tumour, after having the previous 4 surgically removed, Ella (19) asked the physician to remove these ones too, as they were causing her physical and emotional discomfort. “You don’t want that, wait until you have your babies” the physician said to her. Ella told me she felt as though her future, hypothetical children were being prioritised by her current wellbeing. 

Ella isn’t alone in her experience. Delila told me her severe endometriosis meant her periods lasted for up to 50 days. They caused pain induced vomiting and fainting. After seven years of not finding a treatment, she “begged” a gynaecologist to perform a hysterectomy and give her back her life. His response, she told me: “It was out of the question. According to him I was too young to decide what was right for my body and that my emotions were affecting my judgement. He went on to insult me further, suggesting that my future partner may want a child with me and to have a hysterectomy would take that away from them”. She was also told the same thing when she sought a consultation from a private surgeon. She describes being felt as though she was “reduced down to her uterus”. 

Similarly, Adrianne was denied having her tubes tied – which she describes as “dehumanising” – which she wanted to do because of her BRACA positive diagnosis, but was told she couldn’t whilst unmarried and childless, in case she regretted it in the future. 

I’m writing to pitch this piece to cover a number of case studies such as these, where people are having the autonomy over their medical decisions denied on the basis of preserving the existence of future children. I have case studies of different genders and sexes, just to show a range of experiences. 

As well as talking to a number of sources who have gone through this, I’ll also speak to charities such as Endometriosis UK and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to understand the medical picture of this, and also talk to psychologists and counsellors to get an expert opinion on the mental health impacts of this. 

I really hope this is of interest! Happy to send more information or discuss further (of course!).

Have a great day, 

Bethany Dawson