Wednesday, October 04, 2023 – A woman has revealed how her organs are fused together like a “sticky cobweb” making sexual intercourse so painful she hasn’t slept with her partner in a year.
Laura Debney, 37, says she suffered painful periods from the age of 11 but was consistently told it was “normal”.
The pain spread until her whole body was being tortured “all the time” and she was diagnosed with endometriosis aged 26.
The condition causes tissue similar to the lining of the womb to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes, and bonds them. There is still no known cure for it.
Laura, from Cardiff, UK, had multiple surgeries to remove the tissue, but she said it would just grow back worse each time.
She now says she can only work for five hours a day because the pain becomes too much for her to focus, and she struggles to sleep at night.
She says sex is too painful for her and hasn’t been able to be intimate with her partner of 10 years, Adam Hill, 43, in over a year.
She said: “When I first started my period, it would feel like someone had punched all the way through me to my back.
“I was told the pain was normal for girls, and I just ‘wasn’t used to it’ – but eventually the pain was all over my body, all of the time.
“When I had surgeries after being diagnosed, the doctors found all my organs were bonded together.
“They said it was like they were tangled up in a sticky cobweb.
“They tried to remove all the adhesions, but it just grew back again.
“As time has gone on, the pain has just become greater – and it’s permanent.
“My boyfriend and I haven’t had sex in over a year because I’m always in pain.”
Laura would experience severe pain and bleed very heavily during her time of the month – often leaking onto her clothes.
Laura struggled on, until an incident at work aged 23 made her realise her symptoms were a sign of something more serious.
She said: “I was lifting heavy files up and down some stairs while I was on my period and I was struggling.
“I felt like I was going to pass out – I bled through a tampon and a towel, and onto my clothes.
“I walked out and never came back.”
Following a procedure called a laparoscopy in 2013, she was finally diagnosed with a severe case of endometriosis.
Laura had all the adhesive tissue removed in two different operations the same year, but her symptoms started to return two years later.
She learned the organs had already bonded together again in 2015 – and doctors repeated the surgery to remove the adhesions again.
When she began to notice her condition worsening yet again, in 2019 it was revealed that adhesions had spread beyond her reproductive system to her bowels. She continues to battle the condition till this day.
Laura used to have a good sex life with Adam, an office manager, but now finds penetration too painful.
She said: “At the beginning of the relationship, I could make the best of it, but as it got worse, I had to be honest about the pain I am in.
“Now he knows, he finds it difficult because he doesn’t want to cause me pain – but I do miss sex.
“Sometimes when I’ve got some antibiotics with me we can plan to do it, but we can never be spontaneous, so it feels like a chore.
“Whenever we do have sex, I end up bleeding and with a UTI.”