Hayley's story

Find out how Hayley has coped with having multiple surgeries to treat her endometriosis

"I’ve always prepared for surgery by talking about it to friends and family beforehand. I find each operation a little easier to manage as it seems more familiar and therefore less daunting."

My experience

Since my diagnosis nine years ago I have had seven different operations. These have been in the form of laparoscopies and hysteroscopies. I also had an ovary removed during one of these surgeries. My most recent surgery was May 2012 where I had consented to a hysterectomy, but I decided against as I was so apprehensive. Instead my surgeons chose to unstick and remove as much endometriosis as possible and carried out reconstructive surgery on my uterus.

Because my last operation was so successful, I have felt very fortunate to have a rest period of over a year without any intervention. This operation seems to have been really helpful in minimising my pain and the heaviness of my periods. As I also have adenomyosis, I understand that a hysterectomy will most likely be something I will have to face in the not too distant future.

How I manage having surgery

I know my particular after effects of anaesthetic and which drugs agree with me and which don’t. As I live alone, recovering from surgery is always difficult.

I do still suffer with pain on a daily basis but have just accepted that this is something I will always have to live with. I work full time and have a busy social life and have recently started a new relationship with a very supportive and understanding partner. I have a great network of support in terms of my boyfriend, friends, family and my colleagues and boss at work. They are all very aware of my condition as I am very open to discussing it.

I have raised some awareness by my frequent open and honest discussions with female friends and colleagues. I have displayed posters at work in the staff toilets to alert women to the particular signs and symptoms. I have also taken part in two sponsored walks in the past and attended Endometriosis UK support groups where I have made a lifelong friend. I feel endometriosis shouldn’t ruin your life, it’s just important to learn how to manage it.

- Hayley