I always had problems with my periods being heavy and painful. I was diagnosed with PCOS and endometriosis. I struggled to get doctors to do anything about it as I had no interest in having children.
My periods got even worse than usual and my doctor prescribed txa. It all finally came to a head in December 2017 when I collapsed through blood loss and had to go to A&E. That triggered them looking into the problem but meant a series of tests which I found very difficult to deal with given my gender dysmorphia.
They gave me a smear test, an internal and external ultrasound and they attempted a hysteroscopy but I couldn’t cope with that so I needed to have a second attempt under general anaesthetic. They told me they’d take a biopsy while they were having a look “just to be on the safe side”.
Getting a call from the hospital saying I needed to attend an appointment first thing the following morning. It wasn’t exactly a surprise when they told me I had cancer. The consultant was careful to explain that treatment would mean I would be unable to have children. They seemed surprised when it didn’t appear to bother me but carrying a child had never been something I wanted to do. I am the youngest person they have ever treated.
I was lucky. It was caught early. I was stage 1a and all I needed was a hysterectomy with no further treatment. I live alone several hundred miles away from family and as I was unable to care for myself, my mother looked after me for ten weeks. I’m not out to her and stifling that part of myself for so long was painful. I became very passive.
The medical team don’t seem clued up on how to deal with someone in my situation. I still need regular checkups with my consultant and they involve an internal examination. When I expressed that I found anything to do with penetration difficult, they actually said “don’t you use toys?” Not those types I don’t.
I tend to present at my most feminine at my checkups. I’m surrounded by women in the waiting area and feel uncomfortable presenting masculine in what is a very female space.
I think more could be done in gynaecology for those who are LGBT+. Everyone’s experience is different but not treating us as stereotypes would help.