A mum-of-two has spoken of a debilitating condition which left her with periods so painful she would "vomit and pass out" – leaving her begging her doctors for a hysterectomy.
Jade Spargo, who lives in Truro, Cornwall with her partner Sabrina and two young daughters , was diagnosed with the relatively-common endometriosis two years ago.
This was despite complaining for decades about the pain for a decade.
Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus.
The 29-year-old told Cornwall Live that battling heavy periods and agonising pain led to the deterioration of her mental health.
To top it off, she was then diagnosed with a similar condition, adenomyosis, in which the inner lining of the uterus breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus.
For many, the only cure is a hysterectomy.
Jade said that medics told her that her symptoms were “just something that women have to put up with".
She said: “Years went by and I thought this was just what being a woman was about. I figured it was a bit rubbish but I dealt with it. It settled down in my late teens and in my early 20s it all started again.
“I started to get such painful and heavy periods that I would pass out and vomit. Again I started visiting the doctor's surgery regularly to try and get someone to listen to me and help me."
Jade then pleaded with her doctors to refer her for a hysterectomy in her mid-20s, but said it was not something medics ever seriously entertained.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus.
It is a relatively common condition, primarily affecting girls and women of childbearing age. It is less common among women who have been through menopause.
It can cause painful or heavy periods, and may also lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel and bladder problems.
Approximately 1.5 million women in Britain live with endometriosis.
While it is a long-term condition, for which there is no cure, treatments to ease symptoms are available.
More information from the NHS is available here
She added: “She gave me another prescription for another type of hormone pill, even after I explained they don't help me and make it worse.
"GPs kept telling me the pain was in my head. Even after ending up in A&E in so much pain no one would take me seriously.”
She finally achieved a breakthrough when, at 27, she visited a different GP, who officially diagnosed her with endometriosis.
Jade said: “I had never even heart of it. She then referred me to the gynecology team at Royal Cornwall Hospital."
She says that the surgeons also discovered that she had a "bulky uterus", which was caused by adenomyosis.
Unlike endometriosis, which can be treated with hormone therapy, the only treatment for adenomyosis is a hysterectomy.
With her new diagnosis, doctors have finally given Jade the green light for a hysterectomy.
First, they will medically induce menopause.
She said: “I am trying to raise awareness for adenomyosis. No-one knows what it is. Also endometriosis – it shouldn't have taken me thirteen years to get a diagnosis but it has.
“At least this one has a cure. Mentally I'm doing much better now than I was a year ago. I must have been a nightmare to live with then.
"My new team of doctors have been amazing to deal with. After so many doctors making me feel like I'm a hypochondriac and I'm being dramatic, it feels amazing to be acknowledged.
"I have bipolar disorder and I'm worried about how the menopause will affect my mental health.
"I'm nervous about silly things that 30-year-olds shouldn't have to worry about. It's going to be a bit strange.
"My partner has been amazing. I had my big operation three weeks before our youngest daughter, Tilda was born.
"She came three weeks after the operation but my partner encouraged me to have the surgery anyway.
"Its been difficult having a new baby after the operation. Sometimes when I get the pains I say to her 'you have no idea what it feels like' and I forget that she has been through pregnancy and labour, but she is incredibly supportive."
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