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A mum has shared her struggle after spending three years struggling to get pregnant, and eventually being diagnosed with a debilitating and life-long condition.
Since she was 14, Kerrie Ann Lomas has been experiencing extremely heavy periods and was in so much pain that she was often missing school. However, with it “not being taken seriously”, she was put on contraception to try and regulate her cycles.
It wasn’t until she met her now husband Kieron that they decided to try for a baby. Unfortunately, three years on it “wasn’t happening”. Eventually, after suffering a miscarriage, Kerrie fell pregnant with her first daughter, but soon experienced a traumatic birth.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Kerry shared that it was shortly after she was diagnosed with a “horrific” condition that changed her life. Years on from her first symptoms, the 32-year-old was diagnosed with endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a life-long condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places. For Kerrie, like many across the UK, it “stops her life”.
“After my first birth I was rushed for an emergency C-section and after that I was still suffering,” she explained. “It was found I had endometriosis and they gave me a laparoscopy operation to remove the lesion but it was deep-rooted and had grown outside my womb. This meant it’s something I can never get rid of, it can only be managed. Since then I’ve had a further three operations and offered different hormonal treatment but I just know how I felt and if you’re a young girl who may not have another female to open up to, it’s a hard thing to go through.
“Everyone deals with it differently and every single case is different but not enough is known about it. A lot of professionals are like one treatment should work for you because it’s worked for others and that’s not the case.”
For Kerrie, who lives in Newton-Le-Willows, said her ovulation is “very painful” and she experiences severe cramps in her legs, tummy and back along with chronic fatigue and an impact to her mental health: “I can’t do anything. I’m prescribed morphine for it and there’s times I’ve been to A&E and put on morphine drips. I’m not someone who takes painkillers willy-nilly but it feels like barbed wire. I’d definitely say it feels like labour. It may not take your life but it takes huge aspects of it.”
Kerrie is sharing her journey in the hopes of raising awareness as she urges women to talk. In 2015, Kerrie – who works in pharmacy – fell pregnant for the second time as she calls for the condition to be classed as a disability.
She added: “It stops your life. Things need to be in pace in workplaces too. I’m very lucky but some girls don’t have that opportunity. I class myself as extremely fortunate, every child is a miracle but I’m fortunate because for some women, their only option is a hysterectomy, which is something I’m now pushing for. With this condition, it’s internal so you can’t see it and people can be quick to judge and say it’s not that bad take paracetamol but it’s bad.
“We need to talk about it. We need to normalise it and talk about what’s normal and not normal for a period. People do fantastic campaigns for cancer and mental health, but endometriosis isn’t really spoken about and I can’t understand why it’s still taboo. And men can talk too. This condition can’t be seen on an ultrasound. Gynaecologists need to know more and GPs look into it more. There’s been times I’ve been given co-codamol and told to deal with it but it doesn’t work like that.
“My inbox is always open, let’s all talk, let’s all discuss it and hopefully get a better outcome.”
According to the NHS endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Affecting women of any age, it is a long-term condition that can have a significant impact on your life.
Common signs include:
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