A married lesbian woman was left in tears after her doctor rejected a hysterectomy — saying she could eventually decide to leave her wife for a man, according to a report.
Rachel Champ, 27, of Longwood, Ireland, has suffered from period pain since she was just 10 years old and was prescribed painkillers and oral contraceptives two years later, the UK’s Mirror reported.
But her symptoms only got worse as she struggled with cramps, lower back and leg pain, as well as migraines and nausea, the news outlet said.
When she was 25, a male gynecologist dismissed her complaints and told her she just needed pain meds.
Last year, Champ spent almost a month in bed due to her condition, as her partner Karen – whom she married this past June – brought her food and pain medication.
When she was finally admitted to a hospital, an imaging test found that she had ovarian cysts.
“I feel like I’m missing out on a lot in my life because of the pain that I am in,” Champ said, according to the Mirror.
“The pain I experience impacts every aspect of my life. I miss work, college and social events. My life, including my wedding, is planned around when I have my period, because I know I won’t be able to leave my bed,” she added.
She went on to undergo a battery of tests, including ultrasounds, MRIs and CT scans, to monitor the cyst, and confirm when they had ruptured – as the gynecologist reportedly continued to pooh-pooh her complaints.
Last week, she requested a different doctor at the hospital and raised the option of decapeptyl injections, which would induce a temporary menopause, but the doctor needed a superior to sign off on the injections.
That medical professional ended up being that same dismissive gynecologist, the outlet said.
“He sat down in front of me and my wife and told me that decapeptyl would not be an option for me as it isn’t a long-term solution for me considering my age,” Champ said.
“I didn’t go into that appointment to request a hysterectomy. Considering I’ve tried the majority of the less invasive options, I simply asked whether a hysterectomy would be considered as an option if I tried his suggestions and they still didn’t have an effect on the pain,” she said.
“He first told me it wouldn’t be an option due to my age. He said I was too young to consider such a drastic decision. He said he had never performed a hysterectomy on someone my age and he didn’t plan to do so either,” the woman continued.
“He said that it would be a different conversation if I was 45, but as I’m so young and have 15-plus years left of fertility, he wouldn’t consider it as an option,” she added.
The couple told him that as they couldn’t naturally conceive, they would either decide for Karen to get fertility treatments or to adopt.
“I was very open with him and told him that the pain can be so severe and has such an impact on my life that there are times I wish I was not alive, rather than having to experience another minute of the pain,” Champ said.
“Word for word he said, ‘I don’t want you to have regrets if circumstances change for you, maybe you leave your partner, your sexual orientation changes, you meet someone and he wants children,’” she said.
“We were both in shock, to be honest. Both of us left the appointment in tears at how I had been treated and how our relationship was considered,” Champ said.
“We felt that once he brought up that my sexual orientation may change and I may meet a man who wants to have children, we knew there was no real discussion here,” she added.
Champ, who lodged a complaint against the doctor, said she decided to speak out in hopes of shedding light on medical discrimination.
“I hope that it means someone else won’t be treated the same way I was,” she said. “Specifically, I hope it also highlights the extra barriers that the LGBTQ community face when trying to get medical treatment, and how doctors’ biases can lead to devastating consequences for us.”