Endometriosis misdiagnosis claims
Endometriosis is a condition affecting women, where cells that line your womb start to grow tissue in other parts of the body, most commonly around the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It can affect other parts of the body such as the bladder and the lungs, but this is rare.
In endometriosis, this tissue thickens, breaks down and bleeds with your menstrual cycle. Your body does get rid of the broken-down tissue and blood very slowly, but while it’s there it can cause pain, swelling and scarring.
Around one in every 10 women of child-bearing age has endometriosis, rising to around six in 10 in women who have very painful periods. Typically, endometriosis will improve or disappear after menopause.
Endometriosis is a long-term condition that can have a significant impact on your life but receiving the correct treatment can certainly help it become more manageable and help prevent complications.
Symptoms of endometriosis
Symptoms of endometriosis can include:
- Dysmenorrhea – painful periods
- Chronic pain in your lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period
- Pain during or after sex
- Pain when urinating
- Painful bowel movements
- Feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your urine during your period
- Difficulty getting pregnant
What happens if endometriosis is left untreated?
If your endometriosis has been left undiagnosed or untreated, your symptoms may worsen. Some women develop complications such as fertility problems, ovarian cysts, adhesions or bladder and bowel problems.
Why would endometriosis be missed or misdiagnosed?
Endometriosis can present itself in a variety of ways, and symptoms of endometriosis can be similar to the symptoms of other conditions, making diagnosis difficult and often delayed.
This is why a prompt referral by your GP to a gynaecologist is required to ensure that the correct diagnostics tests are undertaken and appropriate treatment is started as soon as possible.
NICE guidance requires that where one or more of the symptoms outlined above are present, then endometriosis should be suspected. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and this can lead to significant, delays in diagnosis lasting years.
If your endometriosis was missed or misdiagnosed, it might be that you struggled to have your symptoms recognised or that the incorrect tests were undertaken, resulting in a long painful delay in diagnosis and the development of avoidable complications such as infertility, bowel, and bladder problems. For example, one woman was left to wait 17 years for a diagnosis, which led to her becoming infertile.
Can I claim for endometriosis misdiagnosis?
You may be able to claim if your endometriosis was misdiagnosed or if there was delay in your diagnosis. Some of the types of claims we help with include:
- If a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis leads to complications which would have been avoidable with appropriate treatment e.g. it may be possible to claim damages for the lost opportunity to have children
- If fertility has been compromised but not lost entirely, it may be possible to claim for the costs of undergoing fertility treatment to include IVF or in some cases egg preservation, or surrogacy
- Cases where there has been a failure in the surgery to treat or diagnose endometriosis. Endometriosis is often diagnosed via a laparoscopy – a surgical procedure where a camera is used to look for signs of the condition. We helped one woman, who was expected to undergo a routine laparoscopy for suspected endometriosis. However, due to negligence, her surgery resulted in a lifetime risk of an incisional hernia and bowel obstruction.
Fletchers Solicitors are experienced in pursuing claims on this basis to get justice for the women who have been harmed.
Will I have to pay to make my claim?
We work on a ‘no win no fee’ structure, meaning that you won’t pay any funds to start your claim for compensation. Instead, you receive free legal advice until your claim is settled. Only once your claim is successful do you pay for the legal services provided.