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Woman was left with PTSD after routine NHS medical check caused pain worse than childbirth

Every week for nearly a year, Lorraine Shilcock attended an hour-long counselling session paid for by the NHS.

She needed the therapy, which ended in November, to cope with the terrifying nightmares that would wake her five or six times a night, and the haunting daytime flashbacks. Lorraine, 67, a retired textile worker from Desford, Leicester, has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her psychological scars due to a routine NHS medical check, which was supposed to help her, not leave her suffering.

In October 2018, Lorraine had a hysteroscopy, a common procedure to inspect the womb in women who have heavy or abnormal bleeding. The 30-minute procedure, performed in an outpatient clinic, is considered so routine that many women are told it will be no worse than a smear test and that, if they are worried about the pain, they can take a couple of paracetamol or ibuprofen immediately beforehand.

Yet for Lorraine, and potentially thousands more women in the UK, that could not be further from the truth.

Many who have had a hysteroscopy say the pain was the worst they have ever experienced, ahead of childbirth, broken bones, or even a ruptured appendix, commonly regarded as the most agonising medical emergency.

Yet most had no warning it would be so traumatic, leaving some, like Lorraine, with long-term consequences. But, crucially, it is entirely avoidable.

Do you have an experience you would like to share? Join our conversation on the hub on painful hysteroscopy. We are using this feedback and evidence to help campaign for safer, harm-free care.

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Source: Mail Online, 3 March 2020


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