I Don’t Want a Laparoscopy for my Endometriosis – Here’s Why…

September 10, 2020 in Endometriosis
DISCLAIMER: This content is intended to share my personal experience for entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. I am not a healthcare professional nor do I claim to be. Therefore I accept no liability if you choose to take action based on information found here as this is done entirely at your own risk. Always consult your healthcare provider for medical advice.

This post has been a long time coming. And it’s only coming right now because of a question I was recently asked: why am I choosing to live in pain when there’s a solution on the table? I mean, am I a masochist? Am I willingly choosing to suffer? The answer is more complicated than simply choosing to live pain-free. So today I wanted to share my reasons for choosing not to have a laparoscopy for my endometriosis.

Content Warnings:

This post talks about chronic illness and the impact on the patient and their family, birth trauma (emergency c-section), failed anaesthetics and mental health issues including PTSD and anxiety.

1. There is No Cure for Endometriosis

My first reason is the most important one. Anyone who really knows about endometriosis knows that there is no cure. So suggesting that any surgery could “fix” the problem is pretty inaccurate. It might provide short-term relief but the pain will inevitably return… which brings me onto my next point.

2. It’s Never Just ONE Surgery

When a problem comes back, the solution gets put back on the table. I know people with endometriosis who have had six or seven surgeries since their diagnosis. That’s not something I want to commit to especially when…

3. My Current Management is Working Fine

It really is that simple for me. At my worst, I was waking up in the night howling in pain. Now I get the odd flare-up that lasts a couple of days at most. Do flare-ups suck? Yes, of course. But they aren’t regular. They just pop up out of nowhere which is still preferable to spending three weeks a month in agony.

My biggest pain point with endometriosis these days isn’t so much the pelvic pain but everything else that comes with it. Fatigue. Migraines. Mood swings. Recurrent cysts. None of these things will be fixed by a laparoscopy.

And even if I had a laparoscopy, I’d still be on the pill for the rest of my life. So having surgery just seems a bit redundant.

Endometriosis Treatment: Progesterone Only Pill/Mini Pill

4. The Procedure Itself Kinda Scares Me

If you know what a laparoscopy is, you’ll know it’s considered a minor and routine surgery. And that’s fair enough.

But it’s so much more than that to me. When I gave birth to my son via emergency c-section (a major abdominal surgery), my anaesthetic failed. And there is nothing pleasant about feeling doctors rummaging around in your insides. I’d be happy to write it off as unlikely to happen again but I’ve had another failed anaesthetic since. So no, it’s not happening.

5. It Could Be A Mistake That Can’t Be Taken Back

Sure, some of this is probably my anxiety talking but… as with any surgery, there are risks. Failed anaesthetics being one. Ending up in worse pain being another. Not to mention all of the other things that could go wrong during a surgery like this. I’ve heard horror stories about laparoscopies. (Obviously I’ve heard positive things too.)

My point is there are no take backs. The second that you have the procedure done, you have to live with the consequences – good or bad. It’s a gamble that I’m not willing to take at this time.

6. Impact on my Mental Health

In case you didn’t know, I suffer from anxiety. It’s not possible to consider my physical and mental health as separate entities at this point because they generally co-exist. An anxiety attack, or higher than average levels of stress, will trigger an endo flare. Endo flares make me more anxious. I have anxiety about my symptoms, when a flare-up might show up and so on. They go hand in hand.

I’ll be honest with you. Initially I was onboard with the laparoscopy idea not because I wanted a quick fix but because I wanted a diagnosis. I wanted to know the monster inside me by name. (Even though I already did.) But that initial ‘let’s do this’ became 5 months of dread, stress and anxiety before I took my name off the waiting list.

The procedure required me to be alone for hours prior to surgery. Nobody around to keep me grounded. No phones to distract me or to access calming meditations. Just a highly anxious me, in a waiting room, wearing only a surgical gown. That’s so far out of my comfort zone that I wouldn’t have gotten through the waiting stage without a panic attack. 

And that’s not even factoring in the PTSD triggers of clinical settings, bright lights in my face and (failed) anaesthetics. My poor dentist never even saw it coming when I went in for fillings. I came out hysterical – and not in the haha kind of way. Should I work through my birth trauma? Probably. Is it easier to just avoid triggering situations? Absolutely.

Endometriosis Treatment: Doctor with Yellow Ribbon

7. Impact on Our Lives

Surgery is always followed by recovery time. And it’s a lot easier to rest and recover when you don’t have a toddler. I mean, how do you even explain to a 2 year old that mummy can’t cuddle right now?

Sure, we had a lot of offers from people to come and support us after my surgery but… honestly, the last thing I want is more people in my personal space when I’m already feeling meh. So even if I wanted to do it (which I don’t), it wouldn’t have been the right time. It would have put more of a strain on our family life and it’s hard not to feel guilty as it is.

And what if, worst case scenario, the surgery made things worse? We’d be back at square one. Desperately trying to navigate a new normal with new challenges and limitations all over again. I’d rather live with infrequent pain and annoying other symptoms long-term than risk go back to being in pain all the time.

So there you have it, all the reasons why I don’t want to have a laparoscopy – even if it may offer me some relief.

For more information on and support with endometriosis, check out the following links:

Photo Credits: Menshalena – Getty Images, Chinnapong – Getty Images Pro & Iryna Zastrozhnova – Getty Images


  • Smelly socks and garden peas September 10, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Oh goodness endometriosis sounds ghastly. I had a laparoscopy removal of a coil (IUD) that had gone walk about 3 years ago, it was fine but I knew that it would solve the problem. I totally sympathise with keeping intervention at the minimum if you’re coping.

    • Hayley September 10, 2020 at 4:03 pm

      Yikes, that’s a horror story in itself!

  • Jenny in Neverland September 10, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Thank you for sharing. I think with anything medical, it’s a decision that’s totally up to you and as long as you’re happy with your decision, that’s all that matters xxx

    • Hayley September 10, 2020 at 4:08 pm

      Thanks Jenny, I completely agree. 🙂

  • Lisa Marie Alioto September 10, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    As someone with a chronic illness, I completely understand. YOu have to do what’s right for you and your body when you are ready and if you so choose

    • Hayley September 10, 2020 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks Lisa, you’re so right. I’m open to the possibility of having one in the future but right now, I don’t think it’s the right choice for me. 🙂

  • Fadima Mooneira September 10, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Good post. I learned something from it. Pls stay strong.

    • Hayley September 10, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks Fadima!

  • Anika September 10, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    I had a laparoscopy for endometriosis a while ago and although it was painless and relatively straightforward, my anxiety was through the roof before and after. My doctor was wonderful and answered every single question I had but it still doesn’t make the worry disappear, so I totally understand how you feel from a mental health standpoint. It makes sense to avoid triggers! Fortunately there was no risk for me, but I know it’s possible, so I agree with a lot of your points. Great post, I enjoyed reading!

    • Hayley September 10, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks Anika, that’s really helpful to know. 🙂 I definitely asked a fair amount of questions myself at the time but then drowned under all the ‘what if’s’.

  • Jessica September 10, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    These are all things I haven’t thought of. I’m so glad to read your opinion and think this through. I was planning on having a laparoscopy next year.

    • Hayley September 11, 2020 at 9:07 am

      Thanks Jessica, I hope that you’ve found it useful but please do make the decision that’s right for you. Best of luck! 🙂

  • Heather September 10, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing Hayley, I don’t know much about endometriosis so I appreciate you telling us your experience x

    • Hayley September 11, 2020 at 9:18 am

      Thanks Heather! 🙂

  • Lucy September 10, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    I loved your honesty in this post Hayley, as someone who has a medical condition, you’ve got to do what is best for you and make your own decisions, at the end of the day, it’s your body! x

    Lucy | lucymary.co.uk

    • Hayley September 11, 2020 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Lucy, that’s exactly how I feel too. 🙂

  • Claire September 11, 2020 at 8:31 am

    Thank you for sharing so personally. It can’t be an easy decision to make but as you said, if it’s manageable now it’s very probably the best love for you x

    • Hayley September 11, 2020 at 9:38 am

      Thanks Claire! 🙂

  • lifestyleseason September 11, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Great post! Thank you for sharing! I totally get why you don’t want surgery and you are doing the best thing for you!

    • Hayley September 14, 2020 at 8:55 am

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  • Stephanie @ Bookfever September 12, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    I’m lucky enough that at 28 years of age I haven’t had to have any type of surgery but a failed anaesthetics is one of the fears I have. Also I’m so glad your current management is working for you and I hope it stays that way. ♥

    • Hayley September 14, 2020 at 9:05 am

      Thank you so much Stephanie! I really hope so too and I hope that you continue to not need surgery for a long long time. <3

  • Stephanie September 15, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    I certainly relate to this. I had a really long discussion with my husband the other day because he didn’t know that there were surgical options for gastroparesis (my chronic illness) and when I told him that they can insert a pacemaker to basically tell your stomach to start working again, he asked why I had never tried for that option? And basically.. my response was like yours. Also, there’s such a small success rate that it doesn’t seem worth it to be a guinea pig. I can totally understand where you’re coming from and respect it like crazy!

    • Hayley September 16, 2020 at 10:22 am

      Thank you so much Stephanie! I really appreciate your kind words. It really is such a personal decision and a huge one at that when you’re deciding to take surgical action that might not even help you in the end. <3

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