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”.
Can’t believe that today a gynaecologist told me that a hysterectomy wouldn’t be considered as an option for my debilitating period pain on the off chance that I divorce my wife, my sexual orientation changes, I meet a man and decide I want children ???
— rachel (@RachChamp_) November 1, 2021
“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.
It’s worth adding that I’m 27 and I’ve had severe pain since I first got my period when I was 10. I’ve had two surgeries (1 with ovarian drilling), tried three different contraceptive pills, the mirena coil, and have tried every combination of painkillers. Nothing has helped.
— rachel (@RachChamp_) November 2, 2021
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.”
Important to mention that he did not give me any medical reason why I could not have a hysterectomy. He told me it isn’t an option because I’m too young, the pain I’m in is clouding my judgement and my life circumstances may change. No medical reason why it’s not an option.
— rachel (@RachChamp_) November 3, 2021
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.
Yep I was told this to. I already had 3 kids and I was single and they said what if you meet someone who wants kids? I responded we can adopt but why does an imaginary man have more say over my body than I do?
— Princess Fat Fingers (@SavahnaB) November 2, 2021
husband's potential desire for more kids should take precedence over her desire to KEEP LIVING. Someone else told me she was finally able to get a tubal after she told the doctors she would abort every time she fell pregnant. Btw, r/childfree on reddit has a list of doctors who
— Mia Sabine Lund (@MiaSabine) November 2, 2021
“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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