Shirlie Kemp shares her experience of a male doctor dismissively advising her to overcome endometriosis

Posted by

Stay ahead of the trend in fashion and beyond with our free weekly Lifestyle Edit newsletter

Stay ahead of the trend in fashion and beyond with our free weekly Lifestyle Edit newsletter

Shirlie Kemp has revealed that a doctor told her to “get over” her endometriosis, despite it making her periods more painful than childbirth.

In a new interview, the Pepsi & Shirlie singer, 61, has discussed her experiences with the medical condition, which made her periods so painful she was “bedridden” as a teenager.

Endometriosis is a condition where cells similar to those in the uterus are found elsewhere in the body, leading to inflammation, pain and scar tissue.

It affects approximately one in 10 women and people assigned female at birth in the UK.

“I could have kissed the doctor who said, ‘You sound like you’ve got endometriosis,’” she told The Times.

“From 16 I was bedridden when I had a period. I suffered horrendous pain.”

Kemp – who is married to Spandau Ballet musician Martin Kemp – continued: “A male doctor said, ‘What a load of nonsense. She’ll get over it,’ and gave me tablets that made me vomit. I didn’t even know there was a private health system until I was in Wham!.

“A private female doctor gave my symptoms a name. When I went into labour I thought, this is not as bad as a period.”

(Getty Images)

When a person has endometriosis, the cells similar to those in the womb follow the menstrual cycle, building up and breaking down.

However, the blood has no way to escape, with common symptoms including pelvic pain, painful periods, pain during or after sex, pain when urinating, painful bowel movements, fatigue and difficulty getting pregnant.

Kemp says that she was told endometriosis could affect her fertility, saying: “My husband wasn’t ready to have a baby. He was a rock star.

“When the doctor told me that endometriosis can affect your fertility, I said, ‘Martin, I’ve got to have a baby. I have a problem with my fertility.’”

Kemp’s experience with doctors isn’t uncommon. In March, a study by charity Endometriosis UK found that three in four women and those assigned female at birth would not go to a doctor with potential endometriosis symptoms.

Among those who are reluctant to see a doctor, 24 per cent said it was because they think painful periods are part of life, and 23 per cent didn’t think it was serious enough to bother a GP with.

Source link