"I didn't sleep for 5 nights after this happened"

About: Homerton University Hospital / Gynaecology

(as a service user),

On women's day I want to mobilize women and men to stop a typology of torture against women that takes place today in England: hysteroscopy without anaesthetic!

I was referred for this procedure by Homerton Hospital in London for a polyp, which seems was not there to being with and anyway would most likely not be the reason for the symptoms that brought me there (why was I there then, I asked in vain). I indicated both to the gynaecologist and the surgery centre doctor that I terrified at the idea of doing an hysteroscopy without anaesthetic as people I know in my country and other countries had general anaesthesia for it! I was reassured that for most women is just like period pain and just asked to take paracetamol: 3 hours later I found myself screaming from my guts to STOP! PLEASE STOP!

I found myself a strong resilient highly educated woman, crying and shaking in shock and trying to talk to the nurse, who also looked pretty shocked and apologetic, in my native language. My brain was numb. My hands were trembling. 10 minutes later, without even a thing to reduce the pain (I had to insist to get even a paracetamol), with my legs still shacking and holding my belly, I was discharged.

My partner, a man, who was not allowed in immediately after the procedure (I had, again, to insist to bring him in), could not believe to his eyes. And we both knew, right there and then, that had I been a man this would have never happened. Nobody would expect a man to go through such an excruciating pain without at least offering a local or general anaesthetic. Instead, I was there, in pain and in shock, having been told I would only feel a pain like period pain. Although none of the women that since then have contacted me have reported that it felt like period pain! For many of us it was the most painful experience of our lives (one of those women had 4 kids before so I am assuming she knows what she is talking about).

I didn't sleep for 5 nights after this happened. I am NOT going to keep quiet and see other women and girls undergo this flagrant abuse of their human rights!

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