A woman who always believed she had severe endometriosis says she had to travel to Romania to get the answers and surgery she so desperately needed.
Ashley Sneddon, 35, is now recovering at home in Longcroft, near Falkirk, after having a hysterectomy to get rid of her chronic pain.
Ashley, who was forced to give up her job with Guide Dogs UK due to her condition, was diagnosed more than 10 years ago, but claims specialists in Scotland told her, her condition “wasn’t that bad”.
She’s now complaining to the NHS after she was diagnosed in Romania with the worst stage of endometriosis as well as Adenomyosis.
She told STV News: “The pain is not just at my period, it’s constant, all the time. Some days I couldn’t even lift my head off the pillow.”
Following several operations and scans over the past decade, Ashley made the decision to travel to Bucharest Endometriosis Centre in Romania two weeks ago, after she didn’t get the results from her latest laparoscopy she’d expected.
“The surgeon said my endometriosis wasn’t that bad, everything was just too much,” Ashley said, “I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt desperate.”
After being examined in Romania, specialists found Ashley’s condition was so severe, there was a chance she could end up with a temporary stoma bag if she went ahead with an operation.
Ashley said: “You don’t realise how much pain you were in until it’s fixed.
“Just to get that validation that I was right, I knew what was wrong with my body was very nice.”
She added she’s angry it’s taken this long for her to get the answers she was looking for and is now lodging a complaint with NHS Forth Valley.
Vicky Chapman, a support group leader for Endometriosis UK, said more people are looking at options abroad due to the waiting times in Scotland.
She said: “It’s all too often not taken seriously enough.
“The diagnosis times to be diagnosed with endometriosis in Scotland is eight and a half years, and that’s partly down to how many times people are dismissed by their doctor and told something else.
“Things need to change.”
A spokesman for NHS Forth Valley said: “We had informed this patient that we were arranging a follow up appointment to discuss the results of the treatment carried out in January 2023 and agree next steps.
“We also advise patients to get in touch with us if they have any concerns or their symptoms worsen.
“We would encourage this patient to get in touch with us direct so that we can look into any issues or concerns about their previous treatment and discuss any follow up support or care they may require.”