Endometriosis UK

Wasting my time getting a lap?

Hi everyone,

I am 24 and having my first lap on Monday. I have had really pad periods since my first at 11, they have made me throw up, faint and at times black out from pain. My first gynae dissuaded me from getting a lap at 17 and just changed my pill as she felt I was too young it it was unlikely to be endometriosis.

I have been on the pill on and off (mostly on) for 10 years now and in the last few months, my periods have been increasingly painful (almost like without the pill) I have had bleeding after sex (sometimes a lot sometimes just spotting) and my periods pretty much come whenever they please, usually every two weeks and lasting up to 10 days.

I feel like my whole life revolves around my menstrual cycle but am worried that when I get my lap it is going to be clear. I have had a clear pap smear and two clear ultrasounds. Some doctors have said it may just be the way I am.

I guess I'm just really anxious and looking for assurance from others who have had similar symptoms!

6 Replies

A pap NEVER shows endo, endo is outside the uterus. The pap is just taking a small scrape of cells from the cervix.

An ultrasound will only hint at endo if it shows an endometrioma or blood filled cyst - but as the vast vast majority of ladies with endo are stage 1 or 2 and never have an endometrioma so a scan will not show up their endo at all, not how much there is or the myriad oflocations where it might have taken hold. The only way to find th stuff is with surgery.

17 is young to be having surgery just when you are starting your adult life - it can take a long recovery...and it doesn't cure endo, they can only map the endo and remove what they see- but it doesn't stop more growing or leaking out of the fallopian tubes as period back flow and nesting round the outside of the tummy organs. Each op while yes it can remove endo - also creates scar tissue called adhesions which can be a bigger trauma than endo is in the longer term (endo itself can cause adhesions) so you want to avoid having too many ops.

The best management whether you have endo or not is to stop your periods. Either cut down how many you have by taking the pill back to back, or stop them altogether with soething like the Mirena or arm implants. Both can offer long term relief from periods and risking back flow spreading the disease. You don't need to hve had a baby to have the mirena installed.... infact if youare having the lap op - ask teh surgeon to use that opportunity to install the mirena. It can be painful getting it put in without anaesthetic (infact it WILL be painful to have it put in without anaesthetic) so grab this ideal opportunity if you can so you know nothing about getting it put in.

It doesn't provide instant relief as it takes a few months to build up layers of goop which eventually stop your periods pretty much alltogether for up to 5 years.

If in the meantime you settle down with someone and want to try for a pregnancy then have it removed early - which you shouldn't need surgery for in most cases. It is just pulled out by its strings. Either at the GP surgery or a gynae clinic at the hosp.

It doesn't suit everyone but there are a lot of success stories, far more successes than failures and by not having periods and pains occupying at least a quarter or more of every year - you get a lot of pain free time back for doing the things you couldn't possible commit to before. Definitely worth thinking about and asking the surgeon to sort out for you. Let him know before the op date - so they can have the mirena packet on your bed in the ward, ready for you to take with you to theatre.

Best of Luck



I'm 24 and have very much the same symptoms as yourself. I've just always been fobbed off and told 'some women get painful periods!' After years of time wasting my lap is booked in for the 22nd, it was very much my choice to go for it and and the consultant has the attitude of 'we may not find anything at all'

I'm currently on the pill which has made my periods lighter and shorter but the pain remains the same. They have suggested that I have a Mirena coil fitted at the same time.

Good luck for Monday and I hope everything goes well. Please keep us updated on how you get on x


As the other people have touched upon endometriosis is a wily disease, unlike most other diseases early intervention may not always be the best course. I realise this goes against conventional wisdom we have for any other illness!

This is because we're not entirely sure what causes endometriosis and all surgery has risks and some surgery can even encourage endometriosis to spread to places it wouldn't have. So, in your case avoiding surgery in your teens sounded like it was the right choice, but if you're uncomfortable and you want some answers now, now seems like the right time to start, a good consultant can tell you for sure, a diagnostic laproscopy is something you have to be completely happy about.

Speak to your doctor about getting a referral to a endometriosis specialist in your area, they can start you on the right path. The least invasive treatment for endometriosis is generally to get a diagnosis, then have a laparoscopy to excise (cut out) as much of the endometriosis as possible, then keep the growth at bay with hormonal treatment.

Pap smears and ultrasounds can't spot endometriosis (scans can if the person doing so has specialist knowledge to do so). I had plenty of both of these before my endometriosis was confirmed via laparoscopy.

Don't be afraid if nothing is determined from a laparocopy either, your experience isn't normal, and painful sex and extremely painful periods is not normal and it's just not acceptable that you have to put up with it, if you're not happy with your quality of life ask for help and keep demanding help until someone gives it to you. There will be a reason for your pain, a consultants job is to find it. It is real and something is causing it. If endometrosis isn't found for example it could be adenomyosis (which cannot be seen like endometriosis can)

Good luck!


I was the same! Had painful periods from the age of 12.. was fobbed off with IBS and generally being a wimp for the past 10 years and finally got somebody to take me seriously about 6 months ago. I had pain 3 weeks out of the months causing fainting and vomiting, felt like I had a stomach bug throughout my period, and ended up in A&E with severe stabbing pains which I was told was IBS also! All scans/examinations came up clear and I was so worried that the lap would too, but it turned out that I had stage 2 endo, a twisted ovary, and cysts!



I have a very similar case to yourself and I had my first lap at the beginning of December:https://healthunlocked.com/endometriosi/1st-laparoscopy-on-monday-and-no-endometriosis-found-help

My biggest fear was that they wouldn't find anything and jn a way thats whatbhappened. I have come out the other side just as confused, frustrated and sore as I was when I went in and I'm hoping to go back to my GP this week.

Take it easy after your lap, it may seem like a small surgery but you really need to rest up and give yourself time to recover.

I hope everything goes well



I had a lap 2 months ago and haven't felt the same since. Terrible pain. It could be different for you but I will not recommend this surgery to anyone. I'm so sorry you are in the pain you are in. The birth control is not helping? If you decide to have the lap, good luck. Make sure you have a great doctor.


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