Wait time for first gynecology appointment and what to expect at this?

HI there.

Five weeks ago my GP told me she was going to refer me to gynecology for pelvic pain I have been having since last September. My GP and other doctors at my practice have no idea what is wrong with me, but to me and from what I have read I think I have endometriosis ( as do my friends who are also student nurses like me and have had placements in gyni).

How long do you have to wait on average to get the first appointment?

Also, the GP I see most has left the practice i go to, will this effect my referral?

What should I expect from my first gyni appointment?

Symptoms and brief history- Pain in lover right abdominal, mostly a dull pain that is constant, with sharp stabbing/ cramp like pain similar to that of an appendicitis, constipation, occasional nausea, pain when lying on back, stomach, sometimes side and when touched or pressure is on the area. I have had my appendix removed in the part ( 2010), PCOS has been ruled out and only a small follicle was found on my right ovary during the internal ultrasound. I am a virgin and 18.

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  • Hi sorry to hear your suffering. I went to my doctors in June last year with extremely bad period pains, lower back pain, shoulder pain, and a pain in my bowel. Firstly my doctors did a swab, a urine test, and booked me in for an ultrasound, that was all done by July. I then saw a consultant in October who examined me and sent me for a lap op. So for me it took around 4 months, but it depends on your area. xx

  • Hello.

    Times vary depending on where you live.

    For me I was waiting for 11 weeks for my intial appointment.

    The fact that your GP has left the surgery will not affect the referral in any way. When you are seen at the hospital just let them know your new GP's name.

    During a first appointment you will be asked about your medical history, current medications and your symptoms. (It would be great if you could keep a diary of your symptoms) The hospital doctor may also want to feel your abdomen and carry out an internal examination.

    The doctor will then discuss with you the possible reason for your pain and symptoms and then explain the next step.

    Do you have anyone that can come with you to the hospital? Someone who you trust and can offer you moral support?

    Endometriosis is only found on scans if you have chocolate cysts or large patches of endometriosis. So the fact that nothing was found on the scan doesn't mean you do not have endometriosis. The only way to know for sure is by having a key hole operation called a laparoscopy.

    Best of luck

    Barbara. X

  • Thanks for the advice, that is helpful. yeah, I have my Mum and a few really close friends who have been with me throughout everything.

  • OK thanks, I am in NHS Forth Valley an been told it could be up to 18 weeks, so wanted to check.

  • I went to GP in December. Had a trans vaginal ultrasound beginning of January. Had to go back to see different GP as mine was not around, by time I saw him it was 3rd week in January. He then referred me to hospital - each time a referral happens I allow a couple of weeks after they see me for them to dictate the later, it to be typed and send and received. It took me quite a while to receive my first hospital appointment letter. My first appointment at hospital was with a GP that has an interest in gynaecology on April 1st. Then she eventually decided to refer me to an actual gynaecologist. I saw him 6th May.

    You could always call and ask the GP surgery if the referral has been done - especially seeing as your GP has left (gives you a good excuse to check).

  • Thanks for the advice. I might give them a call just to be sure, it has taken them long to even refer me. Went to see doctor in December, January, February and twice in March before getting referred, and it wasn't until the 3rd visit that i got the scan done, and bloods on the 4th visit. Seen 3 doctors at my GP office so far.

  • I understand. It's very frustrating. I've been having gynae problems since I was 11. Never got any help - except an ovarian cystectomy privately at 13 - and was just whammed on the pill for years. My period and ovulation problems really became extremely problematic in 2007/08, age 27/28 - I kept trying to get them to help me and no one would take me seriously. It was as if I was fussing about nothing I.e. they implied my degree of pain and bleeding equated to normal periods. I finally got help in December after I couldn't sit down at all and was having difficulty lying down during my period (amongst other symptoms). I basically feel as if I had to leave it to get really ridiculously bad before they would take me seriously!

    I feel as if age and gender (not that men have periods but... Just my experience with my other health problems) do not help us... The younger I was, the harder to get help. I really hope you get your appointment soon and they listen to you and help you.

  • Yeah I feel the same. Have had issues with my periods for years, since about the age of 13 or 14 I have always had really bad period pains, and ovulation pain which would last for 2 weeks sometimes which I still get along with this new pelvic/ side pain. Back in 2010 I had an appendicitis which every doctor including my GP ( who changed her mind on the second day back at her office) thought my pain was ovulation pain. Also during the surgery they noted that i had a poly cystic ovary but was never followed up afterwards as my scan 6 weeks after didn't show anything.

    I just constantly feel like they think I am faking it. Doesn't help that I don't like to show that I am in pain. I dont think I have ever had a day off work or school because of the pain, unless it was really bad, but it has stopped me studying for exams at times because I have been doubled over in pain. My mum keeps saying to me that it might be caused by stress, but I feel like I am in the best state of mind that I have been for a while, I started university, studying a degree I have been wanting to do for years and have found a great bunch of friends that I never had at high school. I am a student nurse and don't what the pain to effect my work or me when i am on placement. Luckily I have been able to cope with most of the pain, but when the severe pain attacks happen it is hard to get through them.

  • I think it really helps to be very honest with them about how it is impacting your life. I wasn't able to do that before - I didn't know how to put my point across in a way that would get them to understand that what is occurring cannot possibly be normal tbh. When I saw these new doctors I was finally able to convey to them how debilitating it is and how I can't really do anything as everything revolves around my period and ovulation. I can't stand for long so it's even impacted me in a way it didn't before... And it's getting worse not better/staying the same.

    I had polycystic ovaries when I was younger and I got misdiagnosed with PCOS - I have never had the positive blood work to support it they just went by ultrasounds and my history/symptoms (the symptoms they blamed on PCOS later turned out to be autoimmune thyroid disease). If you have symptoms that suggest PCOS then hormonal testing might also be useful to see what's going on. Some women just naturally have the polycystic cysts without the syndrome. On more recent scans mine have all gone - yay! I did change my diet a lot and I think that helped me.

    It's so hard to go to these people who are held in high regard (the doctors) and tell them what's going on and then not have them validate you. I had to really fight hard because all they wanted was for me to get the pill again. Thing is, I can't live like this... It shouldn't be like this. As you are studying and will have important exams and placements, try to highlight to them how being in the situation you are in now is conflicting with your ability to fulfil your potential as a student. Practice out loud beforehand what you want to say - that's what I do, as daft as it sounds. I literally rehearse my lunes so that they come out easily and confidently. Otherwise I am lost for words and end up missing important bits.

    Have they given you pain.meds? If so, do they work? If they don't ask to try something else. I think this helps to show the severity... I got my meds changed and I'm doing a bit better if I constantly take pain killers as it helps the lower back and low frontal pelvic pain. So now I can sleep better, which helps me to prepare to be more assertive and a better advocate for myself.

  • I was put on buscapan as they thought I might have IBS, but it didn't do anything. I am currently on Amitriptyline 10mg at night as I am having really bad pain when sleeping and when trying to get to sleep, and because i cant find a comfortable position to sleep as i am unable to sleep on my back, belly and sometimes my side because of the pain. I have been on it for a month and haven't seen much of difference, except that i am not waking up during the night as much in pain. other than that I take paracetamol and ibuprofen but it barely touches the pain so i usually don't take it as i know it won't work.

  • Hey there,

    I am terribly sorry to hear about the pain you must be going through, cabbage12.

    I also suffer from endometriosis and, like you, was also referred to a gynecologist for treatment, but the waiting times were unbelieveable! Have you thought about going abroad for treatment? I looked into it and the wait times are virtually non existant and the cost is ridiculously low. There are clinics in Poland and Budapest, so you wouldn't have to travel far or spend a fortune on an airfare either - medigo.com/en/gynecology?pa...

    Might be something to consider....

    Best of luck!

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