Married Irish lesbian denied hysterectomy in case her 'sexual orientation changes'

A young woman has been denied a hysterectomy to combat her chronic pain over doctor's concerns she may meet a man who wants kids.

Rachel Champ, the young woman who was denied a hysterectomy, and wife
Image: Rach Champ via Instagram

Medical professionals have denied a woman’s request for a hysterectomy without further discussion. The young woman in question, Rachel Champ from Longwood, County Meath, approached her doctor to discuss the options for dealing with her “immensely painful periods”, as reported by The Advocate.

The male doctor would not entertain the option of a hysterectomy in case Champ would “have regrets”.

“I don’t want you to have regrets if circumstances change for you,” the doctor told her, in what is apparently a word for word quote. “Maybe you leave your partner, your sexual orientation changes, and you meet someone and he wants children.”

It is worth noting that these comments were made, not only to Champ, but also in front of her wife.

The doctor also told Champ she was too young for the procedure and should not let pain make the decision for her.

Twenty-seven-year-old Champ has been living with chronic pain for seventeen years at this point and has exhausted many options including various doctors and gynaecologists, tests and procedures and prescriptive contraceptives and painkillers. She has done her research.

“I still vividly remember getting my first period and curling into a ball on my bed in the fetal position and crying because of the pain,” Champ told Buzzfeed, citing that she “had to take so many painkillers just to function. This became a new routine for me every month.”

The Irish sales agent and criminology degree student first learned that this wasn’t normal when she went for her first cervical check. Later, Champ’s gynaecologist found cysts on her ovaries and what appeared to be an endometrioma, although she has not yet been formally diagnosed.

“After 17 years, and potentially another 20-plus years of this pain depending on when I go into menopause, I wanted to know at what point can I make the decision to have a hysterectomy to improve my quality of life, and put an end to the period pain I have experienced for nearly two-thirds of my life,” she says.

Champ posted her experience to Twitter in a thread, which unfortunately revealed that she is not alone in her experience. Many other women shared their own equally horrifying stories of having their needs dismissed by doctors.

“I think it really boils down to the fact that women aren’t treated as if we are capable of making decisions over our own bodies,” Champ said, following the conversation in which she was denied a hysterectomy.

“In this particular circumstance, the problem is the idea that all women must want to have children. In my case, it shows that misogyny is so deeply ingrained in women’s health care, that a man who doesn’t exist is more important to my doctor than me — the very real patient sitting in front of him in tears begging for help to end the pain.”

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