Why Young Women NEED Better Medical Attention – Stop Blaming “Women’s Troubles!”

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“Women’s Troubles” – The phrase that nearly killed me… 

I had been cluelessly in pain for 2 years. These two years were spent in and out of the doctors surgery with complaints of severe stomach cramps, toilet troubles and discomfort. Of course, I was a teenage girl and each doctor I saw put it down to “women’s troubles” and told me it was all a part of the changes my body was making as I turned into a young woman.

For two years I was put on a variety of contraceptive pills, the doctors vastly handing out prescriptions, telling me to visit back in 3 months to see if the stomach cramps had disappeared. Repeating themselves each time, the cramps never left, they merely took a break from my body every few days. With these cramps came frequent constipation, flare ups of diarrhea and blood in my stools. Funnily enough, when I complained to the doctors about this, I was told the blood would probably again be “women’s troubles”. I was given laxatives for the constipation, and told to eat a good amount of fibre to settle my stomach.

At a later date, I was booked in for an emergency appointment, as after yet another visit to the toilet, I was left bewildered by a trail of blood sliding down the back of my legs. I knew this was not “women’s troubles”. I explained to the doctor that the blood had come from my rear, but I was not taken seriously. But, I had finally been referred to have my cervix checked. This caused me to panic, I was only 19, what could possibly be wrong with my cervix? Of course, once checked out, my cervix was fine. So I decided to just get on and try and forget about the pain I was in. I continued taking laxatives and the pills I’d been prescribed. I felt at a complete loss. It seemed every time I went back for help they were far too quick to blame the female anatomy because of my age.

It was only a month ago that I was crouched over my bed in excruciating pain. After 3 more hospital visits, I was told I was experiencing gastroenteritis. I didn’t believe anything they said anymore. I knew my body and I knew there was something wrong. Something serious. After one more visit to the doctors surgery, I was sent into hospital with suspected appendicitis. I was then admitted, and one week later.. I was coming around from emergency Ileostomy Surgery. No gastroenteritis, no appendicitis, but Ulcerative Colitis. I had no choice in the surgery. My colon was so badly damaged that it was just a few days away from rupturing. I now have to live with an Ileostomy Bag, at the tender age of 19. The lack of care and medical attention because of my age and my gender took away my choice, my freedom and my trust in the NHS. If found earlier, I could’ve been saved from the surgery. They could’ve medicated my pain. Now, going on 20 years old, I’m having to re-learn how to go to the toilet and what foods I can handle.

At such a young, vulnerable age, we as women need the right care and the thorough medical attention. We are the future mothers of the next generation, but the lack of medical care could be ruining that.

12 thoughts on “Why Young Women NEED Better Medical Attention – Stop Blaming “Women’s Troubles!”

  1. Hannah (mum) says:

    Having been beside you at every twist and turn including the agony of of watching the excruciating pain you went through, I can certainly verify what you say. Although it isn’t possible to turn the clock back I think your frank and eloquent approach to detailing your experience will certainly help others. I am and will continue to be prouder than proud of you


  2. David Sherring says:

    I hope life works out better for you from now on. I am impressed by your setting this out to educate and inform others, and respect you immensely for it. I think that with the qualities you have thus displayed you will go far in life, however you define success. Good luck with it all.

    Kind regards



  3. Debs Longbone says:

    Like you, I ended up with an emergency ileostomy because I was misdiagnosed for a long time & finally when I was rushed to theatre, my colon was about to rupture. I was told my problem was because I had given birth naturally to my first 2 children some years previously; so I had “bleeding Piles” as a result?
    I knew I never had bleeding piles and I argued with my doctor for a long time before he finally referred me to the hospital. Unfortunately, I never made it that far as he put me on medication that should NEVER be given to a person suffering with Ulcerative Colitis and that medication was the final straw to my colons destruction!
    I never went to that doctor again and years later, I wish I had reported him for his lack of medical care & inability to see a woman as a “real” patient that could have illnesses not related to her child bearing abilities!


  4. janette foggo says:

    I feel for you and what you had to go through. My son had the same surgery when he was 19. He had nearly a year of misdiagnosis when he was 13 and in the end the drug treatments he had failed as he had a bad reaction to them. He is now 4 years on from surgery and thriving. He is healthier than he has been for years. Fit and enjoying life as a student and with a job as well. Take all the time you need to recover from the surgery and come to terms with the stoma. But reassure yourself that you are going to feel better than you have for a long time and free of pain urgency and all the other side effects of the illness which can be notoriously difficult to treat. This in no way detracts from the poor treatment that you had and the fact that Doctors did not listen to you when you know your body best. On your own behalf try to look forward now and be positive about where you are while still addressing the neglect and poor treatment you experienced before. Best Wishes for a healthy unlimited future.


  5. Carlo says:

    It happens at the other end of life too. My Mum’s cancer was ignored for years until it was too late as they blamed… women’s troubles and time of life!

    I am really enjoy your writing.


  6. Flora says:

    I had a similar ordeal. I was in and out of A&E/GPs for two years having extreme flare ups of being sick for 24 hours and doubled over in excruciating pain. They fobbed me off as IBS and sent me away with paracetamol FOR TWO YEARS. It was only when I collapsed in college after a really bad flare up and I was rushed off to A&E did they find I had an acute gangrenous appendix only an hour or two away from killing me. It’s an absolute disgrace. 😦


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