Endometriosis UK
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Something positive :)

I wrote a really upset and long post last week after my consultant appointment basically saying how sick, traumatised and violated the sheer amount of excruciatingly painful, humiliating and failed-attempt swabs/internal examinations I have had to have over the last few years and how I just couldn't cope with it anymore and how it was really affecting me psychologically and my relationships, too, and when I got my letter through about having to go for smear tests (I'm 25 this year) I just completely broke down, couldn't sleep, the fear was literally taking over. A couple of you lovely ladies told me to let you know how I got on with the GP appt I booked specifically to talk about these issues and I'm SO relieved to report that I had a really positive experience today :)

I recently moved house, so apart from returning to the drs to explain my returning endo symptoms and being referred straight to the gynae, this was my first appointment where I'd talked about anything really in depth with this particular GP, and contrary to what I have experienced before, she was SO concerned about me and understanding. She said I have every right to feel the way I do and that it should be understandable as to why I'm in so much pain - somebody just telling me to relax is like telling somebody going through a severe depressive episode to "just cheer up" - it doesn't work. She said she will make a note about psychosexual therapy if I am still affected further down the line, but right now she doesn't think it would be right because all they would say is that it's completely understandable with my physical illness why I feel the way I do - there aren't really any other underlying issues there, it's just the trauma caused by this illness and what I've been through as a result. So she has put my smear reminders on hold as I'm still young and says nobody will chase me about them, I should wait until my endo has been treated again and then make sure I go back to discuss with her from there. She also made a note on my medical history that I find internal examinations extremely painful and distressing and stressed that any swabs/smears/scans etc that need to be done internally should preferably be done if/when I next have to have any surgery ie another lap.

I'm sure it's not a blanket thing, but in my NHS experience GPs are SO much more personal and understanding, and consultants/anyone you deal with IN a hospital is far more cold/clinical/less understanding. I'm really relieved that I went, I knew I was really affected but didn't realise how so - I cried tonnes and tonnes and feel absolutely exhausted now like a massive weight has been lifted that FINALLY somebody in the medical profession is taking the pain seriously and that it's not something I just have to "work through" or "relax and it will go away". So relieved it's unreal :) thank you for everybody's support and suggestions, this form has helped me in so many ways xx

3 Replies

I would add a note, that despite the GP surgery having it on their records that they are not to pester you for smears, (which is great news) unfortunately it doesn't stop the NHS master computer database sending you out reminders along with the enclosed leaflet ( which is quite frankly about the most insulting piece of drivel that can be sent out to women like us who have suffered the brutality of these checks when it causes so much physical pain. Quote " Some women may feel slight discomfort"..... makes me tear up the pamphlet and scream when I read that.)

So while your GP practice should be a lot more sensitive when handling your case and be willing to refer you to the hosp for anaesthetics, it doesn't automatically cover every other medical data base involved unfortunately.

But don't panic when the reminder letters arrive. It is automatic. Just ignore those, and you decide for yourself when you feel able to ask your GP to refer you to the hospital for smear with anaesthestic, or if you just want to only have it done as and when you have a surgery for anything and are under general anaesthetic and know nothing about it, that's up to you.

It is your choice regarding smears, but there may be times when you need procedures down below which are not smears, and should that ever happen then be confident and assertive and insist on anaesthetic as its your right.

Very happy to hear you found a good GP to listen and understand your situation. Makes a huge difference to have someone actually listen to your frustrations and take on board what your have said .

It is not psychological problem, it's a physical reality. It hurts !!!


I'm glad you've had this experience. Sounds like a good GP


Really pleased you've found a good one! IT took me four years but I've now got a great understanding GP. She only does one day a week however. Good luck with the rest of your journey. x


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