I woke up to find my womb was REMOVED without warning and it's crushed my dreams – I'm desperate for your help | The Sun
A WOMAN has shared her harrowing ordeal after finding out her reproductive organs had been removed without warning.
Zoe Bailey, 31, from Manchester, had endured years of excruciating period pain.
But when she woke up from a routine internal medical check in 2018, she didn't expect her cervix and uterus to have been removed – and her dream of carrying her own child to be taken away from her.
At 14, she recalls experiencing frequent bouts of vomiting and blacking out whenever she was on her period.
With concerns growing, she sought out medical advice, but claims medics informed her the pain and symptoms were "normal" and "just her period."
Zoe had a gut feeling something wasn't right, and in 2013, her fears were confirmed.
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She spoke to a doctor about being unable to get pregnant and an examination at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester lead to her getting diagnosed with endometriosis.
This is a condition in which tissue similar to the uterus lining grows outside of it, in places such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder or bowel.
While some who have the condition may not have symptoms, others can experience abdominal pain, agonising period cramps and pain during or after sex.
After doing her own research, Zoe found that one of the symptoms is infertility.
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But going through her first surgery to remove the endometriosis, Zoe claims doctors reassured her this wouldn't be the case, as the extra tissue had been removed.
However, after the operation failed to relieve her of any pain, doctors decided to place Zoe in a temporary menopause to give her reproductive system a break and stop her ovaries from functioning.
But after six weeks, her debilitating symptoms returned. The same thing happened again in 2015.
For the next two years, Zoe spent most of her days bed-bound and eventually had to give up her job as a carer as the pain became too much.
In 2018, her condition took a turn for the worse and Zoe was rushed into theatre for the aforementioned internal medical check, where she woke up with her vital reproductive organs missing.
Speaking about the ordeal, she claims: "I didn't expect to have any of my body removed that day but the doctors said they had no choice due to the severity of my condition.
"I was so upset and angry – even more so at the fact I’d been told there was no chance [the endometriosis] could be back as I’d had surgery to remove it.
"But each time I went back for surgery, it had come back worse and worse.
"I felt broken – and I still am now – but I thought I had to just get on with it."
Now, she's sharing her experience in a bid to raise awareness for other women, saying the situation has "broken her heart."
"Some days, I feel like a failure – I'm a woman who can't do the one thing women are meant to do, which is carrying a baby," Zoe, from Manchester, told http://NeedToKnow.co.uk .
"It breaks my heart.
"It affected me so badly, that I lost four stone in weight and I became severely depressed, as well as suffering from anxiety.
"All my life I’d wanted to be a mum and to be told this wouldn’t be possible broke me.
"It's made me question my relationships as to why someone would want to be with someone who can't have children.
"I've had all sorts of horrible thoughts that went through my head.
"Now, I resent everyone around me who are pregnant or have just had a baby."
What are the symtoms of endometriosis?
Some common symptoms of endometriosis are:
- pain in your lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period
- period pain that stops you doing your normal activities
- pain during or after sex
- pain when peeing or pooing during your period
- feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your pee or poo during your period
- difficulty getting pregnant
Source: NHS England
Sadly, Zoe's battle was far from over, as in 2019, after another routine check, she woke up to find her bowel had been removed and a stoma bag had been fitted.
According to the NHS, treatment for endometriosis that's around or inside the bowel may involve removing a section of it – some people undergoing this might need a temporary colostomy, as was the case with Zoe.
Zoe claims the stoma bag was supposed to be removed within six months, but due to a blockage of endometriosis in her remaining intestines, this is no longer possible.
She said: "Waking up to the bag on my side and seeing the scar, knowing this was now my life, deflated me.
"It knocked my confidence and I hated looking at my body.
"It really baffled my head as to how it all worked, but eventually, I got used to the bag being there and it's become a part of me now.
"But it has affected my life, as I’m no longer able to eat fruit or vegetables.
"I have to be careful of what food I eat, as if I eat the wrong thing it can causes blockages and they are not nice – I’ve been hospitalised due to this a few times.
"I've also had to change the way I dress to make sure you can’t see my bag through my clothing.
"As well as this, I also have to take in to consideration any trips or days out I’m going on, as I have to see whether there will be toilets and if I’ll be able to empty my bag."
Now, despite all the treatments and surgeries, Zoe is still suffering from extreme pain every day, which sometimes is so excruciating she has to go to hospital for help.
Zoe claims medical professionals have informed her that the only way to relieve her symptoms is to undergo a full hysterectomy, meaning she won't be able to produce eggs, which has left her feeling lost.
In a bid to freeze her eggs before it's too late, she's set up a GoFundMe and has raised £1,065 of her £5,000 goal.
She hopes to raise awareness through her story and encourage other women to push for answers if they know something isn't right.
Zoe added: "I don't want anyone to have to go through what I've been through.
"I had to wait so long for a diagnosis and to be seen.
"All of this could have been prevented if I was listened to at the beginning and everyone should be able to have the chance to be a mum.
"I hadn't even heard of endometriosis [before I was diagnosed], but I was relieved that it actually had a name and it wasn't just bad periods.
"I want to share my story, as I want to spread awareness of endometriosis and how severe it can be.
"It's not just a bad period – it affects everything: day-to-day life, relationships, my sex life, the list goes on.
"I think of all the people that have children and give them up or hurt them and I don't think they understand how lucky they are.
"People tell me I could adopt, but it's not the same.
"If going through this and sharing my story means other women won't need to suffer, then it'll all be worth it."
A spokesperson from St Mary's Hospital told Jam Press: “We understand Zoe has contacted PALS regarding her concerns.
"The PALS team are investigating the matter further with St Mary’s as part of their standard complaints process and will feedback to Zoe as soon as the investigation is complete”.
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