I passed out from crippling pain every month for 10 years because of endometriosis – but doctors told me to s – The Sun

HAYLEY Ray first realised her menstrual cramps weren’t normal when she was 13 years old.
Every month, the 30-year-old nutritional coach from London experienced such agonising pains that they would make her pass out – but her local GP insisted that it was merely a “bad period”.
5 It took Hayley Ray, 30, over 10 YEARS to get diagnosed with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndromeCredit: InstagramSpeaking exclusively to Fabulous Digital, Hayley revealed that it took over 10 years until she was diagnosed with endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
In an attempt to put the mind-numbing pain into words, Hayley said: “Leading up to my period, I’d get cramps, this unbearable pain in my uterus and it would be so agonising that I would throw up because it was so painful.
“It literally felt like torture. Crippling and agonising torture. It’s almost like you’ve got pins inside of you – but it’s ten times that pain.”
When her period arrived, Hayley also experienced “heavy bleeding, blood clots and bleeding through sanitary products.”

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places
As a teenager at a secondary school in Solihull, West Midlands, Hayley would often pass out from the torturous pain and be sent home.
She added: “My mum would obviously have to come and get me from school and take me to the doctors but they would just dismiss me.
“They would just say, ‘oh, it’s just really bad period pain’ which is outrageous. Doctors wouldn’t take me seriously.
“I had a nurse saying, ‘you’re wasting our time, you’re just being over dramatic.’
“The local GP surgery once said, ‘no one likes to be a time waster and you’re wasting our time by coming back to tell us how much pain you’re in’.”
5 Hayley says her pain was ‘absolute torture’ and felt like being ‘stabbed with pins from the inside’Credit: InstagramSymptoms of endometriosis
Endometriosis is where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb (uterus) are found elsewhere in the body.
Each month, these cells react in the same way to those in the womb – building up and then breaking down and bleeding. Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as a period, this blood has no way to escape.
That can lead to infertility, fatigue, bowel and bladder problems, as well as really heavy, painful periods.
It affects one in ten women in the UK.
Symptoms include:
Painful, heavy, or irregular periods
Pain during or after sex
Chronic pain
Painful bowel movements
The cause of endometriosis is unknown and there is no definite cure.
According to Endometriosis UK, it takes over seven years on average for women to finally receive a diagnosis.
It’s estimated that up to 50 per cent of infertile women has the condition.
Source: Endometriosis UK

Sadly, Hayley’s is a story which rings true to millions of other sufferers in the UK.
According to Endometriosis UK, it takes an average of seven and a half years for endometriosis sufferers to be diagnosed – by which point, the chronic condition has wreaked irreversible damage on the sufferers’ bodies.
Endometriosis is also far from rare, with one in 10 women of reproductive age suffering from the agonising condition in the UK alone.
The condition is notoriously difficult to diagnose, with the majority of sufferers only getting the answers they need by having laparoscopic surgery.
As a thirteen-year-old girl, Hayley came to dread her monthly period and the havoc it would inevitably wreak on her social life.
“It just really affected every aspect of my life,” she said. “At the age of 13, who wants to tell their friends, oh I can’t come and hang out with you because I’m on my period? I was always having to cancel last minute.”
5 Hayley says endometriosis was extremely isolating for her as a teenagerCredit: iamhayleyray/InstagramWhen she was 15, doctors suggested that Hayley go on The Pill as the contraceptive has been proven to make periods both lighter and shorter.
Although it originally eased some of her symptoms, Hayley’s pain came back after a short while – and this time it was worse.
She said: “It would mask my pain for a few months and then it would come back and just be even more unbearable.
“Friends at college would tell me to ‘stop being so dramatic’ after I’d throw up in the toilets from the pain.
“They said, ‘no one can be in that much pain.’ They didn’t get it.”
After almost 10 years of living with undiagnosed endometriosis and PCOS, Hayley’s condition deteriorated on her way to her job at a corporate property firm.
It literally felt like torture. Crippling and agonising torture. It’s almost like you’ve got pins inside of you – but it’s ten times that pain…Hayley Ray
In her second week at a new job, Hayley was stepping off a train when she suddenly felt “this stabbing pain” in her right ovary.
She said: “It came on so suddenly that it was like fire and it spread around all of my ovary and into my back.
“I went completely dizzy and nauseous. I managed to walk from the train station to the office and then literally collapsed. The next thing I knew, I was in the ambulance being taken to A&E.”
During her hospital stay, Hayley was told she had a ruptured cyst – a symptom of her undiagonsed PCOS – but was discharged early.
It was at this point that Hayley realised she couldn’t continue asking doctors to take her seriously and booked in with private gynaecologist Dr Shrini Irani.
“I got so desperate at this point that I booked myself in for a private gynaecologist appointment to find out why I had this cyst,” Hayley said. “She did examinations and told me to book in for a scan at my doctor’s office.”
5 In 2012, Hayley was diagnosed with stage four endometriosis after underdoing laparoscopic surgeryCredit: InstagramHowever, her local GP wasn’t all that happy to oblige – and told Hayley he would only book her in if it made her “less of a hypochondriac.”
Although Hayley was originally told she had a cyst on her ovary which was 1cm by 1cm, laparoscopic surgery revealed it to be 10 TIMES the size.
She recalled: “When I finally came out of surgery, my doctor was so shocked because they’d been given misinformation.
“She then wrote back to my doctor who I was seeing at the time and now I’ve been referred to a different doctor in my GP practice.”
Although she’d finally managed to get medical professionals to take her pain seriously, Hayley now faced a new challenge: trying to convince her employers.
Friends would tell me to ‘stop being so dramatic’ after I’d throw up from the pain. They didn’t get it.Hayley Ray
After having time off from the office, Hayley was called into an HR meeting where she was told to “man up” because she “didn’t even look sick”.
Hayley has since retrained to become a nutritional health coach and works with women and endometriosis sufferers “who want to turn their pain into power”.
After being diagnosed with stage four endometriosis in 2012 at the age of 23, Hayley went for a food allergy testing and discovered she had a gluten and wheat sensitivity as well as being lactose intolerant.
She added: “This is when I learnt how all of my food choices tie in with my overall health and nutrition.
5 Hayley recently qualified as a health coachCredit: iamhayleyray/Instagram”So many women will have surgery [to get diagnosed] and the pain will deteriorate.
“But if you’re not doing something about your eating then the pain will increase because certain foods can become inflammatory. Endometriosis is an inflammatory response as it’s stress which is caused by our body certain foods can cause stress.”
Since then, Hayley claims her healthy lifestyle has allowed her to manage her pain and stop her stage one endometriosis from worsening.
Along with her one-on-one coaching sessions, Hayley has also developed programmes for women to “get their glow back” by making healthier food choices.
You can follow Hayley on Instagram here.
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