Was suffering from multiple fibroids
Claire had heavy periods for a while and was always aware of where she was going, in case she suddenly had to run to the toilet. She was diagnosed as being anaemic when she went to donate blood. It is routine before giving blood for our iron levels to be tested before you are allowed to donate. Claire’s levels were too low and she was advised to visit her GP, who prescribed monthly iron tablets. She reports “My GP (male of course!) helpfully told me that it was just something I’d have to put with and get used to! The tablets did help to boost my energy, but your lifestyle is really interrupted.”
Seeing a gynaecologist
Claire asked to be referred to a gynaecologist and was prescribed Tranexamic Acid tablets to help relieve the heavy bleeding. At first these worked, but her periods soon became heavy again. She was then prescribed a contraceptive coil which improved her periods, although they were still pretty heavy. She had the coil taken out. Initially her periods were very sporadic, but then came back with a vengeance! Claire says “I was so distressed, I visited my GP (a lady this time!), who was very supportive and referred me for a biopsy. They discovered that I had multiple intrauterine fibroids in my womb. Although not in any real discomfort, it was because of the fibroids that I was having such horrific periods.”
Claire discussed the treatment options and a hysterectomy was advised, but she asked for a second opinion as she didn’t want major surgery.
Claire was referred to a NHS gynaecologist in Manchester, who recommended a minimally-invasive hysteroscopic procedure that removes intrauterine polyps and fibroids, either under a general or a local anaesthetic. She was happy with this option and, as there had been a cancellation, had the procedure in the hospital’s outpatient department, fully awake, that afternoon. She then went back to work!
Getting her life back
Six month after the procedure, Claire is delighted to report that “I haven’t had any bleeding since, no spotting, nothing! Two months ago, I took up running and now do 10k runs. I would have done this years ago if I was able to. Clearly, I am now able to do these physical activities because of having the procedure.”
She recommends “Keep knocking on the GPs door, as they are the gateway to having these sorts of gynae procedures done. There are new treatment options out there and with a little research and a supportive GP, you can get your life back on track. At 58 I feel absolutely great, better than ever and no-one’s going to stop me now!”