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Lisa Hague's endometriosis story

Lisa Hague, mum of four, grief counsellor, model and partner of former Celtic footballer Kris Commons, speaks candidly about her life with endometriosis.

Lisa Hague

Lisa has been living with endometriosis for more than 15 years. She always knew the pain she felt every month was much worse than ‘normal’ period pain and struggled to cope.

She says the development of effective treatments for endometriosis is long overdue and is excited by the prospect that a clinical trial funded by Wellbeing of Women and the Scottish Government could lead to a breakthrough drug – the first new treatment in more than 40 years.

Lisa shares her story

I’ve always suffered badly with my periods, but we just called it really bad period pains.

I could see friends around me that were having periods and taking a couple of paracetamol for some tummy aches, but it was completely different for me. The pain was unbearable, but I was told that some people get period pain worse than others, so I just tried to get on with it.

‘It just wasn’t taken seriously’

The pain would be so bad that, as a teenager, I’d try to distract myself from it by sitting in scolding hot baths or placing a cup of boiling water onto the area where it hurt the most.

I remember going to the doctor two or three times and having a conversation about the pain and how surely this can’t be normal, but it just wasn’t taken seriously. I was given some tablets to try but they didn’t make a difference. Nothing could take the pain away.

In desperation, I took one of my partner’s hospital-prescribed painkillers, dihydrocodeine, to try to block the pain. It was the first medication that actually worked, but it turns out that I’m allergic to codeine.

I went into anaphylactic shock – my tongue swelled up, I developed a rash on my chest and neck, and I couldn’t breathe properly – and I had to go to hospital.

The doctor, quite rightly, started telling me off for taking someone else’s painkillers. But when I told him that I would do it again next month, I think the penny dropped and he realised the amount of agony I was in to take such a risk.

I was referred for a laparoscopy and that’s when I was told I had endometriosis. I was 17 years old.

If it hadn’t been for me taking the codeine, I honestly don’t know if it would have ever been diagnosed.

Lisa Hague, mother of four, grief counsellor and partner to former Celtic footballer, Kris Commons
Lisa Hague, mother of four, grief counsellor and partner to former Celtic footballer, Kris Commons

‘The pain of endometriosis is more intense than childbirth’

I like to think that I have quite a high pain threshold because I gave birth to all four of my children – April, William, Jax and Lola who was stillborn – with just gas and air, but I can honestly say that my period pain is more intense than the pain of giving birth.

Getting a diagnosis was a real relief. The pain wasn’t in my head. I wasn’t weak. I actually do have a condition.

The only thing that concerned me after the diagnosis was whether I would ever be able to have children. I remember it was one of the first questions I asked and if the doctor would advise me to start trying for children early, and they said no.

But then nothing really happened after that. I was just sent home. I was told I had endometriosis and that there was scarring on my womb, but that was it. I didn’t actually get any help after that.

I was given a couple of different tablets, but nothing seemed to do the trick. It’s only recently, after I went to see a gynaecologist about having a hysterectomy, that I was prescribed Buscopan and Naproxen, which I take alongside paracetamol. These drugs have helped – I still get pain, but it is manageable.

‘A new treatment to take the pain away would be life-changing’

I think it’s amazing that Wellbeing of Women and the Scottish Government are funding endometriosis research and that there’s hopefully a new treatment on the horizon.

I’m overjoyed to think that other women may not have to go through the amount of pain and suffering and agony that I’ve gone through.

My daughter is 13 now and I know she’s anxious in case she has the same condition as me, so knowing there are treatments out there that can control the pain would be amazing. It would be life-changing for so many women and girls.

Wellbeing of Women does not advise or endorse anyone taking someone else’s prescription medication which can be extremely dangerous. If you have symptoms or concerns, please speak to your healthcare professional. 

If you are struggling to cope with endometriosis symptoms or painful periods and have attempted to manage the pain by hurting yourself or putting your body at risk of harm, please seek help – you can speak in confidence to:

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