• Katie
  • Age: 53
  • Health/pain conditions: Adenomyosis, back and joint pain, perimenopause, gall bladder issues

“I’ve have had various health issues, gynae and non-gynae related, throughout my life. I had a miscarriage at 26 and was in pain, as well as spotting. I was told it was just period pain.

I also suffered from adenomyosis throughout my life, which presented in flooding and very swollen legs. This caused anaemia and meant I had very little energy to do anything. I demanded to be seen by an HCP but it took some time before I ever got a referral to a gynaecologist.

Around the age of 43, I started to experience severe back and joint pain (later evident that this was the beginning of my perimenopause journey). Visits to my GP resulted in me being offered anti-depressants and being told to see a psychiatrist. Despite the pain being totally debilitating and barely being able to walk, my male GP was extremely dismissive and told me “It’s in your head”. I was misdiagnosed with depression, and it took me four years and paying for private health to get an HRT prescription, after which symptoms started to subside very quickly.

Post-hysterectomy at the age of 51, I was writhing on the floor in extreme pain that got worse and worse. I started feeling faint and sick, so I rang the GP and was told it could be food poisoning. By morning I was in absolute agony, and my doctor said it’s probably nothing - indigestion or stress – but again I was misdiagnosed and it was my gall bladder. Women are very good at coping with pain and don’t complain because we do feel dismissed. The expectation on women is to just get on with it.”