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Painful hysteroscopy

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I was subjected to an excruciating hysteroscopy in outpatients without being made aware of all the pain options. I was denied local analgesia when I asked about it beforehand and told it wouldn't be necessary as the pain would be slight cramping. It wasn't.

I noticed some light spotting about 6 weeks ago. I reported this to my GP, who sent me for an internal ultrasound. This identified slight thickening of the lining of my uterus (7mm), so I was sent for a hysteroscopy at Nevill Hall hospital, in Abergavenny. I received a leaflet in advance, which said 'some patients experience discomfort. If you find the procedure uncomfortable, please discuss this with the clinician'. it also stated that one of the frequent risks was pain. However, on the same page it said 'You will be offered local analgesia', so I didn't worry too much.

When I met the clinician in advance of the procedure, he explained any discomfort would be like period cramps. I asked about pain relief, but he repeated it would just be like period pains, if I experienced any pain at all. As I used to have dreadful period pains, have had coils inserted and removed, and have given birth naturally twice - once without pain relief - I thought I'd be fine with this. I'm usually pretty tough when it comes to pain, in any case. 

When the procedure started, I felt some discomfort when the hysteroscope went through my cervix, and remember saying 'Ow'. Then the most incredible, searing, tearing pain I have ever experienced - I guess it must have been the pressure of the saline. I found the arms of the bed to grab onto, and could hear myself shouting -No no no no no, stop stop stop-. The plan had been to take some pictures, followed by taking a sample of the lining of my uterus lining, but the clinician stopped the procedure having had a look and taken some pictures. They may have spoken to me and asked questions during this time, but I have no recollection of anything except the pain. When I finally opened my eyes, the clinician was nowhere to be seen, and the two nurses were asking if I was OK. I was extremely shaken and very out of it, from the pain and the shock.

After I'd recovered for a few minutes, still with my legs in the supports, and lying back in the examination chair, the nurses told me I should go and get dressed, which I did, very shakily. They then showed me out of the room to the clinician's room opposite. Another doctor was standing in the doorway of his office, and I wasn't asked in, or asked to take a seat. I just stood in the doorway, still dazed and very shaken. The clinician looked up at me from his desk and said everything looked fine and joked that he would give me a 10 year warranty, as all seemed in order. The nurse then pointed me towards the exit door and I was on my way out of the department, to drive myself home. There was no offer of anywhere to sit and recover. I felt a complete wimp, and as if I'd made a terrible fuss about nothing. And very confused. As I mentioned earlier, I'm usually really brave but this was the worst pain I'd ever experienced.

I had phoned the hospital the day before the procedure, as I'd noticed in the patient leaflet that it said I needed someone with me to take me home. The person I spoke to said that was because I would be given local anaesthetic, and if I had an accident on the way home, my car insurance would be invalidated. She said it was at my own risk if I attended on my own and drove myself home. Having driven many times after local anaesthetic, coming home from the dentist, I took the decision to attend the hospital on my own, as it was short notice to find someone to drive the 40 mile round trip, and I wanted this done as soon as possible in case there was a risk of cancer. As a result of this conversation I had fully expected to be given a local anaesthetic for the procedure. 

I got home and looked up 'Painful Hysteroscopy' online and was appalled (and partly reassured) to see that up to 25% of women experience severe pain. I had no idea there was an option to have this procedure done under general anaesthetic, although I probably wouldn't have gone for it anyway, as I was only expecting period pain type cramps. I have regular lower gastrointestinal endoscopies and sigmoidoscopies without anaesthesia and bear the discomfort pretty well. So I assumed this would be similar. 

I have gone from being pretty fearless and confident to being terrified of going back. I wrote this on the day it happened while it was still fresh in my mind.

63 year old woman. Procedure 16 Sept 2021 at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny

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This is such a ghastly experience for you. I’m so sorry to hear that you weren’t given the information, care and support you needed. It’s a harrowing read and I’m sending you my best wishes and commitment that we’ll do all we can to expose and address this terrible practice. Helen 

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I have had 3 hysteroscopies at the JR in Oxford, each worse than the last. Almost the worst bit was being treated like a silly child making a fuss about nothing when I was In agony. I was led to believe than no one else had ever complained about the pain. I was not offered local or general anaesthetic beforehand, though on the last occasion they did finally give some LA in my cervix when they couldn’t get in otherwise. I was menopausal and childless, with several large fibroids, so they must have known it would be difficult and painful. I didn’t complain at the time because they diagnosed endometrial cancer at the third one, and I had other worries, but also because I didn’t think anyone would listen to me. I’m so glad to have it confirmed that I'm not hysterical or mad. Is there any progress on this issue? Or are NHS still pushing to have it done in Outpatients? Purely to save money of course….

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So sorry to hear your experience Jane, three times, ghastly. Following the guidance, NHS provision and support is patchy and inconsistent. Something that campaigners have been highlighting for years. The broad response is ‘the guidance is there, NHS providers need to follow it.’ Not much help to women when clearly this doesn’t happen. The government have just published a vision for a Women’s health strategy, a few days ago. We will continue to support campaigners and push for action. A strategy, a policy, a commitment is not enough whilst women are experiencing such avoidable pain. 

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Just joined all you other ladies after having an unsuccessful hysteroscopy 3 days ago. I only wish I had known about this beforehand. 

Never before have I experienced such extreme pain. I have had 3 natural births and previous surgeries. I too was not warned how painful it could be. The consultant did spend a few minutes telling me about the procedure and that I could stop it at any time I felt "uncomfortable". In the event, he called a halt as he could not dilate my retroverted cervix. He tried manually to move it and also tried to "grab"it with instruments. His words. I have spent the last 3 days experiencing flash backs and now I have to return to do it all again under a GA. This procedure should never be carried out without anaesthetic in the first place. 

To everybody facing this-say no unless you are offered an anaesthetic. 

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On 24/12/2021 at 15:36, Jane Mactaggart said:

I have had 3 hysteroscopies at the JR in Oxford, each worse than the last. Almost the worst bit was being treated like a silly child making a fuss about nothing when I was In agony. I was led to believe than no one else had ever complained about the pain. I was not offered local or general anaesthetic beforehand, though on the last occasion they did finally give some LA in my cervix when they couldn’t get in otherwise. I was menopausal and childless, with several large fibroids, so they must have known it would be difficult and painful. I didn’t complain at the time because they diagnosed endometrial cancer at the third one, and I had other worries, but also because I didn’t think anyone would listen to me. I’m so glad to have it confirmed that I'm not hysterical or mad. Is there any progress on this issue? Or are NHS still pushing to have it done in Outpatients? Purely to save money of course….

I was post menopausal, have never been pregnant, and have a retroverted uterus - none of which was taken note of when I had my horrendous OP hysteroscopy. In other words, I was never, ever a candidate for this procedure on an OP basis, nor did I give informed consent under the rules in force at the time. I nursed for 40 years and was taught to treat people as individuals, as well as tell them the truth. Unfortunately this seems to be extremely rare in the case of OP hysteroscopies. The medical model seems to me to be to hope that nobody will research the procedure before having it. Had I done so, there is no way that I would ever have consented to having it done without a GA.

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Appalling!! 

It just goes on and on doesn't it - women being tortured in hysteroscopy procedures carried out in outpatients without anaesthetic.  Women are not able to give informed consent to the procedure because information is being withheld from them.  The RCOG Patient Information Leaflet state: "You may choose to have the hysteroscopy under general anaesthetic. This will be done in an operating theatre, usually as a daycase procedure."  (https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/patients/patient-leaflets/outpatient-hysteroscopy/ ) but hospital trusts choose not to use this information because it mentions pain and anaesthetic.  Women are being lied to when they are told it isn't painful - it is known that 1 in 3 women will experience severe pain and to say that it doesn't matter because it doesn't last long is just negligent!  What ever happened to "first do no harm!" How do they get away with it?  I am so sorry to read the recent accounts on here.  They are truly awful.  The Campaign Against Painful Hysteroscopy has been working to bring about change for 7 years now.  You can join us on twitter @HysteroscopyA, visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HysteroscopyA/  or their website at https://www.hysteroscopyaction.org.uk/, or if you feel you need support following your experience and would like to join a private group, please send me a message via facebook - https://www.facebook.com/elaine.falkner.7 .  You can also record your experience and name the hospital on https://www.careopinion.org.uk/ anonymously if you prefer, or make a formal complaint to the hospital concerned.

 

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On 13/12/2021 at 09:35, Patient Safety Learning said:

I was subjected to an excruciating hysteroscopy in outpatients without being made aware of all the pain options. I was denied local analgesia when I asked about it beforehand and told it wouldn't be necessary as the pain would be slight cramping. It wasn't.

I noticed some light spotting about 6 weeks ago. I reported this to my GP, who sent me for an internal ultrasound. This identified slight thickening of the lining of my uterus (7mm), so I was sent for a hysteroscopy at Nevill Hall hospital, in Abergavenny. I received a leaflet in advance, which said 'some patients experience discomfort. If you find the procedure uncomfortable, please discuss this with the clinician'. it also stated that one of the frequent risks was pain. However, on the same page it said 'You will be offered local analgesia', so I didn't worry too much.

When I met the clinician in advance of the procedure, he explained any discomfort would be like period cramps. I asked about pain relief, but he repeated it would just be like period pains, if I experienced any pain at all. As I used to have dreadful period pains, have had coils inserted and removed, and have given birth naturally twice - once without pain relief - I thought I'd be fine with this. I'm usually pretty tough when it comes to pain, in any case. 

When the procedure started, I felt some discomfort when the hysteroscope went through my cervix, and remember saying 'Ow'. Then the most incredible, searing, tearing pain I have ever experienced - I guess it must have been the pressure of the saline. I found the arms of the bed to grab onto, and could hear myself shouting -No no no no no, stop stop stop-. The plan had been to take some pictures, followed by taking a sample of the lining of my uterus lining, but the clinician stopped the procedure having had a look and taken some pictures. They may have spoken to me and asked questions during this time, but I have no recollection of anything except the pain. When I finally opened my eyes, the clinician was nowhere to be seen, and the two nurses were asking if I was OK. I was extremely shaken and very out of it, from the pain and the shock.

After I'd recovered for a few minutes, still with my legs in the supports, and lying back in the examination chair, the nurses told me I should go and get dressed, which I did, very shakily. They then showed me out of the room to the clinician's room opposite. Another doctor was standing in the doorway of his office, and I wasn't asked in, or asked to take a seat. I just stood in the doorway, still dazed and very shaken. The clinician looked up at me from his desk and said everything looked fine and joked that he would give me a 10 year warranty, as all seemed in order. The nurse then pointed me towards the exit door and I was on my way out of the department, to drive myself home. There was no offer of anywhere to sit and recover. I felt a complete wimp, and as if I'd made a terrible fuss about nothing. And very confused. As I mentioned earlier, I'm usually really brave but this was the worst pain I'd ever experienced.

I had phoned the hospital the day before the procedure, as I'd noticed in the patient leaflet that it said I needed someone with me to take me home. The person I spoke to said that was because I would be given local anaesthetic, and if I had an accident on the way home, my car insurance would be invalidated. She said it was at my own risk if I attended on my own and drove myself home. Having driven many times after local anaesthetic, coming home from the dentist, I took the decision to attend the hospital on my own, as it was short notice to find someone to drive the 40 mile round trip, and I wanted this done as soon as possible in case there was a risk of cancer. As a result of this conversation I had fully expected to be given a local anaesthetic for the procedure. 

I got home and looked up 'Painful Hysteroscopy' online and was appalled (and partly reassured) to see that up to 25% of women experience severe pain. I had no idea there was an option to have this procedure done under general anaesthetic, although I probably wouldn't have gone for it anyway, as I was only expecting period pain type cramps. I have regular lower gastrointestinal endoscopies and sigmoidoscopies without anaesthesia and bear the discomfort pretty well. So I assumed this would be similar. 

I have gone from being pretty fearless and confident to being terrified of going back. I wrote this on the day it happened while it was still fresh in my mind.

63 year old woman. Procedure 16 Sept 2021 at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny

Appalling!! 

It just goes on and on doesn't it - women being tortured in hysteroscopy procedures carried out in outpatients without anaesthetic.  Women are not able to give informed consent to the procedure because information is being withheld from them.  The RCOG Patient Information Leaflet state: "You may choose to have the hysteroscopy under general anaesthetic. This will be done in an operating theatre, usually as a daycase procedure."  (https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/patients/patient-leaflets/outpatient-hysteroscopy/ ) but hospital trusts choose not to use this information because it mentions pain and anaesthetic.  Women are being lied to when they are told it isn't painful - it is known that 1 in 3 women will experience severe pain and to say that it doesn't matter because it doesn't last long is just negligent!  What ever happened to "first do no harm!" How do they get away with it?  I am so sorry to read the recent accounts on here.  They are truly awful.  The Campaign Against Painful Hysteroscopy has been working to bring about change for 7 years now.  You can join us on twitter @HysteroscopyA, visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HysteroscopyA/  or their website at https://www.hysteroscopyaction.org.uk/, or if you feel you need support following your experience and would like to join a private group, please send me a message via facebook - https://www.facebook.com/elaine.falkner.7 .  You can also record your experience and name the hospital on https://www.careopinion.org.uk/ anonymously if you prefer, or make a formal complaint to the hospital concerned.

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On 24/12/2021 at 15:36, Jane Mactaggart said:

I have had 3 hysteroscopies at the JR in Oxford, each worse than the last. Almost the worst bit was being treated like a silly child making a fuss about nothing when I was In agony. I was led to believe than no one else had ever complained about the pain. I was not offered local or general anaesthetic beforehand, though on the last occasion they did finally give some LA in my cervix when they couldn’t get in otherwise. I was menopausal and childless, with several large fibroids, so they must have known it would be difficult and painful. I didn’t complain at the time because they diagnosed endometrial cancer at the third one, and I had other worries, but also because I didn’t think anyone would listen to me. I’m so glad to have it confirmed that I'm not hysterical or mad. Is there any progress on this issue? Or are NHS still pushing to have it done in Outpatients? Purely to save money of course….

Appalling!! 

It just goes on and on doesn't it - women being tortured in hysteroscopy procedures carried out in outpatients without anaesthetic.  Women are not able to give informed consent to the procedure because information is being withheld from them.  The RCOG Patient Information Leaflet state: "You may choose to have the hysteroscopy under general anaesthetic. This will be done in an operating theatre, usually as a daycase procedure."  (https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/patients/patient-leaflets/outpatient-hysteroscopy/ ) but hospital trusts choose not to use this information because it mentions pain and anaesthetic.  Women are being lied to when they are told it isn't painful - it is known that 1 in 3 women will experience severe pain and to say that it doesn't matter because it doesn't last long is just negligent!  What ever happened to "first do no harm!" How do they get away with it?  I am so sorry to read the recent accounts on here.  They are truly awful.  The Campaign Against Painful Hysteroscopy has been working to bring about change for 7 years now.  You can join us on twitter @HysteroscopyA, visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HysteroscopyA/  or their website at https://www.hysteroscopyaction.org.uk/, or if you feel you need support following your experience and would like to join a private group, please send me a message via facebook - https://www.facebook.com/elaine.falkner.7 .  You can also record your experience and name the hospital on https://www.careopinion.org.uk/ anonymously if you prefer, or make a formal complaint to the hospital concerned.

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I have just had a hysteroscopy and a polyp removed. I am on hrt but have had on off bleeding which seems linked to when I change from one type of patch to the next. 
I had previously had an internal ultrasound scan when they also took a biopsy but unfortunately it was too small so needed to come back. I found the previous procedure (taking the biopsy not the scan) more painful than the hysteroscopy. Having gone through the biopsy before I was extremely anxious about the hysteroscopy. On both occasions the staff were amazing and so reassuring. Before the hysteroscopy they told me that I was in complete control and they would stop at anytime if needed. Had the local anaesthetic which stung a little and then the water pumped inside before the camera went in. Lots of distracting and amusing chat and had gas and air if I wanted it but didn’t require it - just squeezed the nurses hand! Felt very crampy when the camera first went into the womb but wasn’t too uncomfortable. They then removed it and pushed up the instrument to remove the polyp which again made me winch but the removal of the polyp wasn’t too bad. Now a bit tender and crampy but also had the coil fitted too so could be that. 
This was at the Perth Royal Infirmary and I can’t rate them highly enough. Definitely the gold standard! Feel very lucky. 

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Really so kind of you to share your experience and so pleased it was so positive, even if a little uncomfortable at times. Well done to Perth Royal Infirmary 

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A few months ago I had a hospital appointment as a follow-up from Ultrasound investigation for fibroids. On this visit the ultrasound result was discussed and then I was asked to lay on the couch for an examination, a female doctor and either 1 or 2 nurses in attendance (I can't remember how many as I was so scared by the situation I was suddenly in. The doctor said 'we need a quick look at the fibroid so we need to insert a camera/scope past your cervix to get a closer look'

What happened next is still traumatising me a few months on, I was on the couch, and they started to try to get the camera/scope in through my cervix. The pain was worse than anything I have ever felt, I was in agony. The first attempt failed so they tried again causing even more pain & distress. A third attempt followed and the doctor mentioned I had a very strong cervix which was fighting her and not letting her get through. The pain was worse with every attempt and my anxiety was through the roof. I begged them to stop as I couldn't take any more pain. They did stop and left me to get dressed...it was only after they had done that the doctor said 'Have you never had children?'

I was left traumatised, shaking and felt sick with the pain and I bled for a few days afterwards.

I now have extreme anxiety and am getting flashbacks. I have to attend another hospital in a few weeks time for a hysteroscopy, on researching what was likely to be done I realised that the procedure was almost identical to the one at the other hospital.

I explained to my new consultant about what had happened to me and how fearful I am. He seems very good over the phone and has assured I can have gas & air, pain relief to be taken prior to the procedure and will use the smallest scope he can and at any time I can't cope he will stop if I ask. I hope he will be as good as his word, On the phone appointment he did not sound too impressed by my earlier experience. My fear & anxiety is off the scale. I have to have this done as they are checking in case it's anything more serious than a large fibroid because of my symptoms so I know it makes sense - I'm just terrified after what happened at the other place, I can't get it out of my mind.

Am I correct in thinking that the first hospital did indeed spring a hysteroscopy on me? I ask as I had no warning, no pain relief prior to the appointment, no anaesthetic gel during the procedure and I was left feeling totally violated.

 

 

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Yes, this was a hysteroscopy, to which you should have given your written and informed consent, so whoever did it actually broke the law. You are entitled to have a general anaesthetic,  although Drs will do anything to persuade you not to, and will put obstacles in your way. There is a campaign against painful hysteroscopy, for which there is a private group on Facebook, and there is much information to be had there. You have been “trick and treated”, something with which many members of the above mentioned group are familiar. Do join the group, where other members will try to help you decide on the right course of action for you.

 

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Woody, I'm appalled to hear what has happened to you.  It shouldn't be like this.  As Exonian has said you are entitled to ask for the procedure under general anaesthetic and I wonder why this hasn't been offered to you and why they think a fourth attempt will be better at a different hospital.  I wonder if these are questions you could ask the new consultant.  If you would like to join the private facebook group that Exonian has mentioned, please send me a fb friend request (Elaine Falkner - I'm holding a black and white cat) and I can then invite you to join the group where you can get support and input from other women who know about the procedure.

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I had a hysteroscopy outpatient procedure at Cosham Ward, Southmead Hospital in January.

I have been advised by the consultant in a previous appointment that I needed a hysteroscopy, due to excessive bleeding and endometriosis.At the time of that previous appointment, we went into much detail about the pain relief I would receive during this procedure as I was very nervous.

This included the options of local anaesthetic or gas & air. I explained at the time that I have many complicated over lapping chronic illnesses.

Such as EDS, ME, Gastroparises and Dilated Cardio Myopathy. All this means I cannot take conventional painkillers such as paracetamol, Ibuprofen or aspirin. 

The consultant assured me that my worries are being taken seriously, and written down in my notes. And that either her or her colleague would be the ones carrying out the procedure, and I would be offered pain relief on the day.

I also explained that I have many cognitive difficulties with communication, and so wanted to make this plan upfront so that on the day I would not have to try and communicate as much.

When the procedure came around in January. I was presented with a different doctor, not the one I’ve previously seen. And although many things were discussed on the day, painkillers were only  mentioned briefly.

I once again told them that aspirin, paracetamol or Ibuprofen were things I could not take. They assured me that the pain would be minimal, and so they would carry out the procedure without any pain relief. I was confused and overwhelmed. I did not feel confident enough to question this, which is why I had done it in the appointment beforehand. But this either had not been written in the notes or had been completely ignored.

I should also mention a coil was fitted after the procedure. This was also discussed, and was agreed that I would have pain relief. As I’ve had a bad experience with Coil in the past.

Again I was not offered any pain relief.

The procedure then went ahead, without any pain relief at all. The nurses did their best, trying to distract me and talk through the procedure as it was happening. Telling me to take deep breaths and breathe through it.

But I have never felt pain like it, this is not low-grade period cramp pain. This was sharp intrusive and very scary.

I didn’t feel like I could ask them to stop, as they are doctors and nurses so I assumed they were doing the right thing.

But the pain was excruciating. After the procedure I was taken into a recovery room. Within 20 minutes it was very clear that the pain was not easing, so I was taken back into the procedure room and the coil was removed. Once again without any pain relief.

I was in so much shock from all of the pain, that I left shortly after.Not wanting to be in the hospital anymore.

The next few days of recovery were terrible. I felt like I had been physically attacked. I had bruising and considerable swelling. The psychological effect it has had on me is severe

I feel violated and traumatised. For something so intimate to happen, and feel like you have no control and experience so much pain.

I am sure the team and Doctors are doing the best they can under difficult circumstances of Covid. But what happened feels barbaric and violating. I do not understand why this procedure is not done and anaesthetic. Or another form of pain relief could not be found, to deal with my drug allergies.

It is now almost a month after my procedure, and I’m still traumatised.

I am due a follow-up appointment in a few weeks, and at the moment I do not want to ever step foot into the hospital again. I am scared to come face to face with a Dr that would do that to me.

 

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Edited by Shell

Woody, I'm appalled to hear what has happened to you.  It shouldn't be like this.  As Exonian has said you are entitled to ask for the procedure under general anaesthetic and I wonder why this hasn't been offered to you and why they think a fourth attempt will be better at a different hospital.  I wonder if these are questions you could ask the new consultant.  If you would like to join the private facebook group that Exonian has mentioned, please send me a fb friend request (Elaine Falkner - I'm holding a black and white cat) and I can then invite you to join the group where you can get support and input from other women who know about the procedure.

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Shell,   What has happened to you is dreadful.  I can only imagine how you feel.  I've sent you a message.

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Thank you all for sharing your ghastly experiences. You should not have been violated in this way, it’s barbaric and completely unacceptable.
 

We’re supporting and promoting the excellent work that Hysteroscopy Action are taking to drive change. I’ve  been talking today about the Women’s health strategy that is being developed and the need to ensure the governments approach includes the experience of women experiencing pain, not receiving information for legal content, being traumatised and left anxious for future care. And the action needed to prevent this avoidable harm. We want to promote this at a national conference later this year, I hope that happens. 

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I, fortunately, have had a very different experience to many of the women telling their stories here. I was referred to the Women’s Health clinic at Nevill Hall in Abergavenny due to increasingly heavy bleeding. Scheduled for hysteroscopy- the doctor and the team supporting were reassuring and supportive. The procedure was very uncomfortable but manageable. The outcome was that I required a second procedure a week later to remove a polyp (MyoSure) and biopsies. The doctor and team again were very supportive. This time I had an LA. The procedure again was very uncomfortable and this time took longer. I did not feel any additional pain when the polyp was removed and biopsy took place, but the feeling of pressure from the saline etc was painful. The team were patient and supportive, and despite the pain and the nature of the procedure, I felt like they helped me to retain some measure of dignity and were gentle and calming. It’s never going to be a pleasant procedure, but I always felt respected and supported. 

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Hi

Hopefully I am the light of hope to anyone reading this endless list of pain and trauma.😔

I am 54 and I first approached my GP in 2017 as I could feel a ball like lump protruding out of my cervix os every month about 4 days prior to my period. After the period it had gone again until the next month.

I went in for a smear and a ‘look’, deliberately arranged for one of the days the lump was out of ‘hiding’🙈

My GP who was wonderful (I’ve since moved and lost her as my local doctor sadly) said it was a ‘pinky polyp’ but because there was a slight possibility it could be cancerous ( but she totally doubted it) she would send me 2 weeks pathway to the local hospital. Kings Lynn QE to get it checked.
The appointment came and it fell on a ‘hiding’ day.

I went to the appointment, told them it wasn’t the right day to see it, and was basically laughed at.😡

During the examination 3 major things happened.

a)       a)       The person doing the examination repeatedly touched my clitoris with his thumb and sent the chaperone nurse out of the room and continued to do this whilst she was absent ( I made a complaint and had to go to an awful hearing where I was basically gaslighted and bullied into trying to get me to say what happened didn’t and it wasn’t his thumb it was the speculum, also it was inferred I didn’t know which part of my body was being touched as ‘ I was considerably older than when I had my last gyny exams and my vagina would be slacker by now’, 🤬🤬and the word CANCER said at every opportunity trying to scare me)

b)      He caused so much damage and pain whilst performing the exam not even entering into the womb I was heavily bleeding after and post exam I got a water infection (this is relevant later when I describe my hysteroscopies as to the extent the force and roughness he must have inflicted on me)

c)       He basically told me I was lying about why I was there as there was no lump and my GP was lying about seeing it as well.

After this terrible experience, as I say an official enquiry was held at the hospital, which resulted in the usual ‘lessons have been learnt we’re sending him on a course letter .. (oh and by the way according the NHS trust King Lynn the nurses aren’t in the room for the benefit of the patient they are there for the Dr so the fact he sent her off was perfectly ok… so just be warned )

So I was no further toward my ‘hiding polyp’ being sorted.😓

At this point my GP referred me to the Fitzwilliam Hospital, this is a bupa hospital , which I do actually have membership of, but they don’t cover cancer care, so I was sent there using the freedom of patient choice option as a NHS funded patient for diagnostic assessment

I was allowed to explain about the ‘hiding’ and sensibly arrange an appointment around its appearance.

Low and behold, on the day, the consultant saw it, snipped it, and sent it off all very quickly, easily and  painlessly, and without touching any part of my now obviously ‘slack’ vagina that made me feel like Id been abused after. Also the nurse, stayed in the room the whole time, for my benefit. (please excuse my sarcasm but its still something that makes me terribly angry)🤬

 

A year later I was still experiencing heavy periods and mid cycle bleeding, so I approached my GP and asked if I could go back to the Fitzwilliam Peterborough as I had been told after the ‘hiding’🙈 polyp if I was worried to just request to go back.

I went back, again as a NHS funded patient and was scanned ( externally only) which showed up a small fibroid (1.5cm) and another small sessile polyp 1cm ( on a thin stalk) within the uterine cavity.

An outpatient hysteroscopy and biopsy was booked for the following week and I went in

During this procedure I truly felt no pain.

Put into the chair, a speculum inserted, I was given a shot of LA in the cervix, which I felt slight pressure but I felt no sensation of numbing or pain or anything only the movement/pressure of things being up there.

During the actual procedure whilst he was inside the womb he cut the polyp stalk, removed it and also scraped round and gathered womb lining tissue samples. But he advised he was leaving the fibroid as it was small and would probably just calcify after menopause. We were happily chatting during the time he was working, the nurse held my hand intially but once it was obvious I was fine she busied helping him etc. 

During all this I felt no pain or even slightest uncomfortable apart from the normal level of embarrassment of course of being in a brightly light room with my legs in the air 🙀

The samples were sent off and 2 weeks later he rang me and told me that it was all perfectly normal tissue and no need to come back unless the periods got so bad I wanted to go ahead with the ablation procedure we’d discussed ( I cant use progestin or tranexamic acid because of blood clotting)
 

All through covid 2020/2021  my period became heavier and heavier and tbh I was thinking it would soon come to a much anticipated halt in the ladies plumbing department as I am now 54.

But sadly it got so bad that the mid month bleeding was actually starting to join up with the end of the month periods and the amount of loss was making me and my husband feel like we were living on the set of some mad chain saw murder slasher film for 2/3rd of the month.🧛‍♂️

In fact I started bleeding on 13th December and it just carried on in one form or another through til half way into January.

Because we moved house and my GP had changed (Ive never even laid eyes on them) I didn’t get any reaction asking to be referred NHS so I asked for a private referral to go back to see the consultant. at Peterborough.

So this time I was a private patient (Im just telling you that to show paying and going to him NHS made no difference to the care provided, all that’s different is you sit in a separate ‘posher’ lounge with comfier chairs while you wait for him to come out and collect you)

I emailed him initially with the referral and he got his secretary to ring me with a phone appointment. I was then booked in to go and have a pelvic scan as before but this time it was internal as well as external but I am finding it more difficult these days to hold a lot of urine so I'm not surprised

The scans revealed 2 fibroids ( obviously the 1 from before plus a friend, it must have got lonely 👯‍♀️) and they were now 2.5cm each and a lump, believed to be another polyp but this time 1.8cm big. And a very thickened womb lining.

He said the new polyp had probably been growing a while longer than the first 2 as I had been putting off going cos of covid, but was still removable by hysteroscopy. He urged me to go for GA for this procedure as this polyp looked to be broad based (penduculated) not on a thin stalk like the other 2 I’d had, and in his words ‘Im going to have to scoop it out like using an ice cream scoop out of the lining’

I was adamant I’d be fine reminding him the last hysteroscopy I’d had he’d asked me 3 times if I was ok during the procedure until finally Id raised my head to look down at him through my legs and say ‘yes Im fine! are you ok?’  to which both he and the nurse had had to subdue their laughter.

So on the 16th Feb I had another hysteroscopy with LA, and again even with a bigger polyp to remove and he took about 4 times as much womb lining than last time, and having to ‘ice cream scoop’ the polyp out of the side of my womb….. I felt nothing.

The worst part as always is the indignity of it , but at my age you just have to forget about pride don’t you.
Im now waiting for the results in a weeks time.

 

I suffer fibromyalgia and so I’m pretty used to pain, I have deformity of my foot which makes my right leg shorter than my left and this has terrible impact on hip and spine pain, so I’m not someone who doesn’t feel pain and pretty acute on a regular basis. I’m not exceptional.

I have never had children so therefore my womb and cervix you would think would be less accessible than someone who had given birth in their life time.

And although my consultant is charming and came highly recommended after by terrible abuse by a NHS gyny I doubt is he has superhuman gyny powers over all others.

I hope this story, although long, is  a shining light amongst so many scarey tales I have read through on here.

My message, some of you might just be like me and breeze through it. For those who didn’t my sincere sympathies. Don’t let it stop you getting treated, pain is bad, but dying is final .

 

and I thought you might like to meet ' the hiding polyp' so attached his picture ( it must have been a he nothing female could cause that much problem LOL)

 

 

the hiding polyp.jpg

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A huge thank you for sharing your initially horrendous experience and then of the excellent and compassionate care. 
 

I very much support your final point. 

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I had a hysteroscopy today and went into the examination room terrified and tearful after reading previous reviews. Please ladies believe me It’s fine albeit a bit uncomfortable to start. Nurses were great and reassured me I would be in total control and could stop at any point. I could even walk away at that point and elect to have it done under general anaesthetic. My pain threshold isn’t overly strong but decided to give it a go.  The consultant was excellent and explained fully.  I had a speculum inserted which was fine. No discomfort at all.  I then had three local anaesthetic injections into my cervix. I’m not going to lie. These were quite uncomfortable but not excruciatingly painful. The discomfort of each lasted a few seconds each. Please don’t worry as not as bad as they sounded. Just relax. I then asked how long the procedure would last. The nurse said ‘only a couple of minutes more!’. I did not realise the probe had been inserted and the consultant was doing his job. He even took biopsies and I could not feel a thing.  I was fine straight after and got up and went to get changed. About 10 minutes later I had horrendous period like cramps and once home lay down with a hot water bottle but within an hour they were gone and I was fine.  I had a little bit of bleeding after for about 24 hours but that was it. Im fine now so please ladies do not be afraid. Relax. I had a lovely consultant and cannot praise him and hiscstaff enough at Withybush Hospital in Wales 

 
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Thank you for your comment, it’s very heartening to hear your experience. Clearly it was uncomfortable but you were well looked after and reassured. Best wishes, Helen 

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