GPs misdiagnose suicidal student’s condition for period pains

Doctors dismissed student’s endometriosis and polycystic ovaries as period pains for seven years calling her ‘delusional’ when she collapsed in agony and only diagnosing her properly after she tried to kill herself

  • Lucy Grainger, now 20, first began to experience pain when she was aged 13 
  • The Lincoln university student said she was told she was ‘crazy’ by paramedics
  • After changing GPs, she had emergency tests which showed her condition
  • She wants to raise awareness for endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome

A student was left suicidal after doctors misdiagnosed her endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) as period pains for seven years.

Lucy Grainger, 20, was only diagnosed with the condition just weeks after she tried to kill herself in December last year.

The third year Lincoln University, from Yelvertoft, Northamptonshire, said she was told by paramedics she was ‘delusional’ and ‘crazy’ after collapsing in agony with stomach pains. 

Lucy Grainger, 20, was only diagnosed with the condition just weeks after she tried to kill herself in December last year

She first started to experience pain when she was 13, and compared it to ‘being stabbed in the pelvis with a knife, over and over again’.

Ms Grainger changed GP, who then transferred her to a private hospital and gynaecologist, who confirmed she needed emergency surgery.  

She underwent a three-hour long laparoscopy operation in February and is now recovering at home.   

Ms Grainger is now writing a blog and speaking to young girls in school to help to help raise awareness of the condition.

She admitted that she was ‘relieved’ to be finally taken seriously after being misdiagnosed for so many years – but has been told she may struggle to conceive in the future.

Ms Grainger said: ‘I was in so much pain I knew it wasn’t normal. It had a huge effect on my mental state and I was so depressed I tried to kill myself by self harming several times.


Ms Grainger (pictured above) said that she could have faced a six month wait after her scan if she waited for NHS treatment, but was sent to surgery within weeks

‘I don’t remember too much about it but I remember I was so desperate. I had missed so much of university because of the pain and no one was listening to me.

‘All I remember is going to hospital and being discharged and coming home. I changed GP surgeries a few weeks later and told the doctor about my history.’

Ms Grainger said that she could have faced a six month wait after her scan if she waited for NHS treatment, but was sent to surgery within weeks.

She added: ‘The cost was covered by the NHS but I was told I would have to pay for future operations.

‘I don’t know if my condition will mean I can have children in the future or not but time will tell. At the moment I am just trying to get on with my life.’ 

Ms Grainger said: ‘Nothing ever came up on scans and tests – little did I know, endometriosis is only visible when surgery is completed – so I was just discharged and left to go home.

‘This happened too many times for me to count. I was also misdiagnosed with IBS.


Ms Grainger is now writing a blog and speaking to young girls in school to help To help raise awareness of the condition

‘It’s the most frustrating thing being told you’re just being “dramatic” or you’re a “drama queen” because you can’t hack the period pains or the IBS.

‘I know my body better than anyone else, and I knew something was really wrong a very long time ago. 

‘It doesn’t come and go, it is there every single day. Pain that affects me so much, I am almost left paralysed. The feeling in my legs go and I’m left unable to walk some days.’ 

Lucy’s mother Tracey, 43, a cheque processor, said: ‘I have lost count of the number of times I took Lucy to the GP surgery and hospital because she was in pain.

‘The reaction was always the same, it was period pains or growing pains or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

‘The situation should never have got to the stage it did but no one listened.

‘Because of her age and because I had no history of the condition, everyone thought it was something else.’

For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or click here for details

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