Oakwood Solicitors

Endometriosis

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Endometriosis is a condition where the endometrium (lining of the uterus) starts to grow outside of the uterine cavity. This can spread to the surrounding organs such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel and pelvic tissue.

The exact cause of endometriosis is not known, and there are several theories regarding the cause, although no one theory has been scientifically proven. The reason why this condition can be painful is due to the breakdown of the uterine tissue during the menstrual cycle. It is unable to pass through the body which leads to irritation, infection and other complications.

Statistics

  • One in ten women of reproductive age in the UK suffer from endometriosis.
  • 10% of women worldwide have endometriosis – that’s 176 million worldwide.
  • The prevalence of endometriosis in women with infertility can be as high as to 30–50%.
  • Endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological condition in the UK.
  • Endometriosis affects 5 million women – a similar number of women are affected by diabetes.
  • On average it takes five years from the onset of symptoms to get a diagnosis.

Endometriosis

 

Symptoms

Symptoms of Endometriosis vary between different women. The main symptoms are:

  • Pain in your lower abdomen or back (pelvic pain)
  • Painful/Heavy periods that prevent you from performing daily tasks
  • Pain during or after sexual intercourse
  • Pain when urinating or passing bowel movements during your period
  • Feeling nauseous, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your pee during your period
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty getting pregnant/infertility

Diagnosis

It can be difficult to diagnose endometriosis because the symptoms can vary drastically and can be confused with other conditions. It can take more than seven years for a definitive diagnosis, during this time the symptoms may get progressively worse.

A GP will likely ask to examine your abdomen and vagina and recommend treatments in the first instance if they think you have endometriosis. If these do not help, they might refer you to a gynaecologist for some investigative scans or keyhole surgery (laparoscopy). Laparoscopic surgery is the only way to diagnose endometriosis with certainty.

Misdiagnosis of endometriosis is unfortunately common due to the variety and similarity of symptoms being misdiagnosed as other conditions such as:

  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Misdiagnosis can be quite serious due to receiving incorrect treatment which results in a poor quality of lifestyle and a prolonged period of pain and suffering.

Partial Knee Replacement

 

Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no current cure for endometriosis and can be difficult to treat. There are treatments that can help to ease symptoms which include:

  • Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication
  • Hormone medications/contraceptives that reduce oestrogen or increase progesterone
  • Surgical intervention to remove excessive tissue or remove partial/full organs affected by endometriosis
  • Hysterectomy

The type of treatment depend of certain factors such as your age, symptoms, attempting to become pregnant, past treatments and your thoughts on surgical intervention.

How do I make a claim?

If you feel that your diagnosis has been delayed or that your treatment has been inappropriate then you may be entitled to bring about a claim.

The team at Oakwood Solicitors will be able to give you free advice on the prospects of your case and whether you would be eligible to make a claim.

Who can bring about a claim?

The victim of the negligence can bring about a claim in their own right however it is often sadly the case that the victim is either unable to bring about a claim or has sadly passed. In such circumstances, a claim can be brought about on their behalf, either by an appropriate person or litigation friend if the victim is still with us, or by the executor of the estate of the surviving dependant(s) if the victim has passed.

Our specialist team will be able to discuss whether you have a right to bring about a claim, so if you or a loved one has been affected do not hesitate to contact us.

How long do I have to claim?

Claims of this nature are subject to a three year limitation period.  This means that claims have to be commenced within the Courts in three years of rather the date the negligent act occurred or the date you became aware that negligence had occurred.

In cases involving deceased victims this limitation period commences from the date of death and in cases involving minors, the limitation period starts when they reach their 18th Birthday.

The law surrounding limitation periods is complex. Our specialist team will be able to advise further.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

 

How long will my case take to run?

Given the complexities involved in pursuing Clinical Negligence claims, they can often take 18-24 months to conclude and longer if Court proceedings have to be issued. Our investigations start by obtaining all relevant medical records and protocols before approaching independent medical experts for their opinion.

We will provide you with regular updates on the progress of your case to ensure that you are kept up to speed.

How much is my claim worth?

It is often difficult to value clinical negligence claims at their outset given the complexities involved however we will pursue two forms of compensation for you:

  • General damages – An award of money for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of the negligence.
  • Special damages – An award for all of your out of pocket expenses such as travel expenses, medication costs, loss of earnings, treatment costs both past and future.   This list is not exhaustive and is very case-specific.

How is my case funded?

The majority of Clinical Negligence cases are funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement, more commonly known as a ‘No-Win, No Fee’ agreement. This means that there will be nothing to pay upfront and nothing to pay if the claim has been lost.

If you are successful in your claim a deduction of 25% of damages will be taken to cover the success fee and the shortfall in legal fees.

It may also be the case that an After The Event (ATE) insurance policy will be obtained to cover the costs of expensive medical reports and investigations.   If an ATE insurance policy has to be obtained the cost of the same will be discussed with you at the appropriate point.

The cost of the ATE insurance policy is again taken from your damages and only payable if you are successful with your claim.

Oakwood Solicitors Ltd

 

Why use Oakwood Solicitors Ltd to make your Clinical Negligence case?

We have a dedicated team of solicitors and paralegals who have many years’ experience between them in running cases of this nature. They are highly trained to deal with all aspects of clinical negligence.

We want to ensure at Oakwood Solicitors that clients are not overwhelmed by legal jargon, medical terms that they don’t understand and to allow the claims procedure to be as transparent as possible.

Charities/Useful Websites:

https://endometriosis-uk.org/

https://endometriosis-uk.org/sites/default/files/files/Information/pain-symptoms-diary.pdf

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG73

https://endometriosisassn.org/

WHAT TO DO NEXT

For any advice about where to go next with your Endometriosis case, get in touch today for a free initial consultation in complete confidence. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.

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Meet the Head of Department

Carol Cook

Head of Department - Medical Negligence

0113 200 9780

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