Surgeon tells women don't accept period pain as 'normal'

From just 12 years old Lyndsey Shipway suffered heavy periods and excruciating pain that has affected her throughout her life.

But now the 43 year old mum of two is ‘pain-free’ enjoying an active social life and regular exercise without having to worry about the arrival of her period.

“I had no life outside of my monthly periods. I was anaemic, would pass out, frequently had time off school and at times, had to be admitted to hospital for morphine injections. As I got older the pain started to get worse and it was just a week or even a few days out of a month when I wasn’t in pain.

“I stopped exercising, had no social life and I was starting to retreat into myself. It was affecting my performance at work and I was taking time off on a regular basis because I was just too ill to go in.

“I had already had unsuccessful non-surgical treatment. I knew I needed surgery – it was just finding out exactly what was needed,” said Lyndsey, who lives in Kingshurst with her family.

Lyndsey met Consultant Gynaecologist Miss Shirin Irani at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, Birmingham.

Miss Irani explained: “Heavy periods and what goes with them are very common but many women just put up with what they think is 'normal'.

“There is no reason for them to put up with it – what they think is normal certainly isn’t and there are plenty of things we can do to make their lives better.”

In Lyndsey’s case Miss Irani performed a minimally-invasive ablation procedure where the womb lining— the part of the body that causes heavy bleeding – is burnt away by a 90 second ‘blast’ of radio frequency energy.

“The ablation is 80-90% successful in women over 40 years of age but I find that success rates are higher by fitting a Mirena intra uterine system (sometimes knows as a hormonal contraceptive coil) at the same time. The hormone released from this device helps make periods lighter and much less painful,” said Miss Irani.

As for Lyndsey, an IT Manager with Accenture, she is back enjoying a normal life – and is even running regularly to keep herself in shape.

She said: “I would urge other women suffering from heavy periods to take action. For the first time in my life I am able to socialise and plan my life without having to worry about the arrival of my period!

“I used to think it was a real cliché when I read statements like ‘this operation has changed my life for the better’ but in my case it really is true.”

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