A shocked woman claims she was advised by doctors against having a hysterectomy "in case she later stopped being a lesbian and wanted to have children."
Rachel Champ, 27, a sales agent from County Meath in Ireland, decided to seek further help after severe menstrual pains she had since she was 10 became chronic, attending a doctors appointment at a Dublin hospital and speaking to a consultant.
Speaking to the The Times, Rachel said she was stunned to be denied a hysterectomy, allegedly being told: "I don’t want you to have any regrets in case your life circumstances change, [for example] your sexual orientation changes and you leave your partner and you meet someone else and he wants to have children."
Speaking to Buzzfeed, Rachel said she would cry because of period pain every month.
When she was 25 that a female doctor told her it "wasn't normal" to be in so much pain, despite, she said, other doctors continually writing it off.
After she saw a gynaecologist she found out she had multiple cysts on both ovaries, including one which appeared to be an endometriosis.
"I feel like I'm missing out on a lot in my life because of the pain that I am in," said Rachel.
"The pain I experience impacts every aspect of my life. I miss work, college and social events. My life – including my wedding – is planned around when I have my period, because I know I won't be able to leave my bed."
Her gynaecologist continued to dismiss her, insisting that she did not need surgery for the cysts.
Last week, on her most recent visit to the hospital, she requested a different doctor, with whom she discussed the possibility of decapeptyl injections, which would induce a temporary menopause.
However, the doctor needed a superior to sign off on the injections – and it ended up being that same gynaecologist.
She said when she asked whether a hysterectomy would be considered as an option, she was told that she was first told it wouldn't be an option due to her age.
Rachel and Karen explained to the doctor that as they couldn't naturally conceive, they would either opt for Karen to have fertility treatments or to adopt children.
"I was very open with him and told him that the pain can be so severe and has such an impact on my life that there are times I wish I was not alive, rather than having to experience another minute of the pain," said Rachel.
"Word for word he said 'I don't want you to have regrets if circumstances change for you, maybe you leave your partner, your sexual orientation changes, you meet someone and he wants children.'"
Rachel said that this was the moment she knew she could not discuss this any further with him.
"We were both in shock, to be honest," she said. "Both of us left the appointment in tears at how I had been treated and how our relationship was considered.
"We felt that once he brought up that my sexual orientation may change and I may meet a man who wants to have children, we knew there was no real discussion here.
"I felt powerless, dismissed and completely stripped of my autonomy to make decisions regarding my own body."
Rachel has submitted a complaint about the doctor in question, and is now considering private healthcare in London.
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