A WOMAN who dreamed of becoming a mum had part of her womb removed by doctors without her knowing, she has revealed.
Zoe Bailey, now 30, was first diagnosed with endometriosis at 23, after suffering with excruciatingly painful periods for ten years that would frequently cause her to "pass out".
The condition, which affects one in ten women, occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
"One minute I can be fine and the next thing I have excruciating pain and can't breathe – it just cripples me," she explained.
Zoe, from Manchester, underwent her first surgery at St Mary's Hospital in 2015 to remove the endometriosis.
However, after operation failed to relieve her of any pain, doctors decided to give her an injection to temporarily stop her ovaries from functioning.
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For Zoe, who had been trying for a baby since she was 21, it was a hard blow, but she knew she needed to put a stop to the agonising pain.
Tragically, in 2019, her symptoms returned again, and she was taken back into theatre to remove more of the endometriosis.
But when she woke, Zoe found a stoma bag attached to her, missing part of her bowel, cervix and uterus, meaning she'd never be able to carry her own child.
"My world was absolutely shattered," she told Manchester Evening News.
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A stoma is an opening on the abdomen which connects to the digestive or urinary system and allows waste to be diverted out of the body and into a bag.
Initially, Zoe was told she would only have to use the bag for six months – but three years later it's still attached.
To make matters worse, Zoe still suffers with extreme pain because of her endometriosis.
"It's got worse now so it's literally all the time, I don't even have to be bleeding," she explained
Zoe has had to stop working in a care home because she was unable to do any manual handling, and had to take regular time off due to the pain.
"I was in agony at work and by the evening I couldn't even move," she added.
Zoe now fears she will have to have a hysterectomy – which would see all of her uterus removed and would prevent her from producing her own eggs.
In preparation, the 30-year-old has started a gofundme page to help raise the funds to freeze her eggs.
Zoe now believes there needs to be more information and awareness of endometriosis – especially among some medical professionals.
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
"I have been to the doctors saying I have endometriosis and they often say 'what is that?'
"New doctors who don't know me just think it's related to my period but it's not," she said.
"My advice to other women would be; know your body and listen to it – periods are not meant to be painful to the point you pass out," she explained.
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A spokesperson for Manchester University Foundation Trust, who run St Mary's said: "We are taking Zoe’s claims very seriously. We understand she 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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