Endometriosis: Woman claims she was refused hysterectomy due to age

A woman with endometriosis has revealed how she ‘pleaded’ with her doctors for a hysterectomy to remove her womb – but claimed she was refused due to her age and childless status.

Hannah Lockhart, 23, from Bangor, Northern Ireland, suffers from the long-term condition which sees tissue similar to the womb lining grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.  

The pain has become so bad, Hannah is now unable to go to the bathroom alone, and uses a wheelchair to move around.

She said she had been looking forward to starting a family with her fiancé Christopher Lowry but is now ‘pleading’ with doctors for a hysterectomy due to crippling pain, which has seen her hospitalised seven times in the last year. 

Speaking to BBC’s Evening Extra, Hannah explained: ‘Having children to me was one of the most important things…I don’t think I will ever get over the fact that I won’t have my own children naturally – that’s hard to come to terms with.’ 

She said she has begged for her womb to be removed to relieve her – but claimed doctors have refused, adding: ‘They have told me before that if I had been 10-15 years older and had a family of my own, it would not be an issue.’

Hannah Lockhart, 23, from Bangor, who has endometriosis has revealed how she ‘pleaded’ with her doctors for a hysterectomy to remove her womb – but claimed she was refused due to her age and childless status

Hannah said her pain began in her early teenage years but has been gradually worsening, resulting in her starting to use a wheelchair at the end of last year due to difficulty walking. 

She said: ‘Whenever I first got periods, from the very beginning, my periods were very heavy and very painful. 

‘It got to a point where I was taking pain relief, very heavy pain relief, every month.

‘I would be off school, there were days I couldn’t get out of bed or leave the month. It was the same cycle every single month.

Hannah said she had been looking forward to starting a family with her fiancé Christopher Lowry but is now 'pleading' with doctors for a hysterectomy due to her symptoms worsening

Hannah said she had been looking forward to starting a family with her fiancé Christopher Lowry but is now ‘pleading’ with doctors for a hysterectomy due to her symptoms worsening

‘I had a dread every month of this coming, I knew the pain that was coming and I knew how heavy it was going to be.’

She said she was about 15 or 16 when she ‘realised this wasn’t normal’, saying: ‘We went to the GP seevral times and their answer was just to put me on the pill. I don’t know how many different pills I tried.

WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?

Endometriosis occurs when cells in the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body. 

Each month, these cells react in the same way as those in the womb; building up, breaking down and bleeding. Yet, the blood has no way to escape the body.

Symptoms include pain, heavy periods and fatigue, as well as a higher risk of infertility, and bowel and bladder problems.

Its cause is unknown but may be genetic, related to problems with the immune system or exposure to chemicals.

Treatment focuses on pain relief and improving quality of life, which may include surgery or hormone treatment.

Source: Endometriosis UK

‘The pill comes with side effects too, it severely affects your mood as well.’

‘I then started to get pain throughout the month, so it wasn’t just on my cycle, so it was real sharp stabbing pains when you would be fine one minute and then you’d be on the floor.’

She was then referred on to doctors who she said told her: ‘Teenagers get pains and there is nothing we can do.’

She said endometriosis was ‘never mentioned’, adding: ‘It was us who bought it up to the doctors because nobody would bring it up to me. If it had have been mentioned years ago, I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now.

‘To be diagnosed earlier would have made such a difference. I wold have known what was wrong with me, instead of getting past from post to post. All the invasive tests I was put through…I perhaps wouldn’t have needed to go through that.’

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