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Joy asked...

Tags: Depression , women

My daughter has been suffering with pain in her side since Feb. She has been on all sorts of medication but nothing is helping. She finally got to see a consultant who said it could be endometriosis but said that would not send her for surgey to get a definite diagnosis until they had tried her with the pill first and see her in 6 months.

My daughter is 19, getting depressed because she is in constant pain and it affects her uni studies. Is there any other options available to us? (Can we ask doctor to refer to another specialist).

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The Answer

Endometriosis can usually be diagnosed by undergoing a laparoscopy, this involves the insertion of a small flexible fibre optic tube through the umbilicus (belly button) and allows the consultant to visualise the pelvic organs and identify any areas of endometriosis that may exist. The procedure itself takes only 15- 20 minutes under light anaesthesia. Some consultants may elect to treat at the same time and then the procedure can take a little longer depending on the extent of what they find. Sometimes an attempt will be made to medically manage the condition first without definitive diagnosis which may or may not be helpful.

If your daughter is getting no relief by taking the pill then it does seem sensible to seek more assistance particularly as this is interfering with her studies and lifestyle. You don’t mention whether she has undergone any form of pelvic scanning or examination which might also be helpful to exclude the presence of an ovarian cyst. These are quite common and can also produce the type of symptoms your daughter has been experiencing. Ovarian cysts however can also be due to endometriosis.

If your daughter is on your policy then you could always ask your GP for a referral to a gynaecologist who specialises in endometriosis, alternatively you can ask for her to be referred to an endometriosis specialist on the NHS for another opinion. You do have a right to ask for a second opinion on the NHS. You can also ask to be referred via the NHS choose and book system, this allows everyone in England and Wales to select the hospital and consultant where they would like to receive their non-urgent treatment. Some restrictions have applied as to which areas of the country you can be seen in but your GP will be able to advise on this if it applies.

I do hope this helps, you can also contact us here at health at hand if you need assistance sourcing consultants who specialise in endometriosis in your area.

Answered by Health at Hand nurses.

 

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