Thanks for speaking up for us, Naga: Women praise Munchetty after BBC presenter revealed medics dismissed her agonising womb condition for 32 YEARS and told her to ‘suck it up’
- The BBC presenter appeared in front of the Women and Equalities Committee
- Adenomyosis is believed to affect around 10 per cent of women in the UK
- READ MORE: Naga Munchetty says womb condition was dismissed for 32 YEARS
Naga Munchetty was today praised for revealing medics dismissed her crippling womb condition for more than three decades.
The BBC Breakfast presenter told MPs how her battle with adenomyosis, which began at the age of just 15, was not taken seriously by doctors and she was even told to ‘suck it up’.
The womb condition — which is similar to endometriosis — has left her screaming in agony, in pain so severe she would lose consciousness and with no option but to call an ambulance.
Following her appearance in front of the Women and Equalities Committee, women took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to share their ‘huge admiration’ for the broadcaster raising awareness of the condition.
Others said they ‘totally sympathised’ and agreed ‘all women are familiar with this, being batted away, brushed off, ignored, not believed’.
Naga Munchetty, 48, who has suffered with debilitating symptoms since the age of 15, was not taken seriously growing up and was instead urged to ‘suck it up’, she told MPs today
Following her appearance in front of the Women and Equalities Committee today, women took to X, formerly known as Twitter , to share their ‘huge admiration’ for the broadcaster raising awareness of the condition. Others said they ‘totally sympathised’ and agreed ‘all women are familiar with this, being batted away, brushed off, ignored, not believed’
Ms Munchetty appeared alongside fellow TV star Vicky Pattison in an eye-opening discussion with MPs about women’s health issue.
The ex-Geordie Shore star told how she was made to feel ‘stupid and ashamed’ for her own battle with pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Addressing the committee, Ms Munchetty also revealed how adenomyosis has left her ‘paranoid’ about bleeding through clothes, forcing her to stick to dark and loose outfits while on her period.
She also said she has to be ‘dosed up’ on painkillers to help her cope, admitting that she sometimes exceeds ‘what you should take’.
Taking to X, Dr Helen Wright, a senior lecturer in musculoskeletal and ageing science at the University of Liverpool, revealed she was also ‘gaslit for over 30 years’ and told her heavy periods were ‘normal’ before she finally received an adenomyosis diagnosis this year.
What are the warning signs of adenomyosis and how does it differ to endometriosis?
Common symptoms include heavy, painful or irregular periods, pre-menstrual pelvic pain and feelings of heaviness or discomfort in the pelvis.
Less frequent symptoms can also involve pain during sexual intercourse.
Consultant gynaecologist Liza Ball noted that this pain after sex ‘can last for hours or even a day’.
Other symptoms could include pain related to bowel movements.
In endometriosis, the rogue tissue invades areas outside of the uterus.
While the extent of the growth varies from patient to patient, it can affect areas such as the bladder, bowel, ovaries, and even the lungs.
Adenomyosis, on the other hand, causes the rogue tissue to bury inside the muscular wall of the uterus.
It is however possible to suffer from both conditions at the same time.
‘This is embarrassing to talk about but important to raise awareness of women’s health issues,’ she wrote.
Meanwhile, journalist Liz Tray praised Ms Munchetty for talking about the condition.
‘All women are familiar with this, being batted away, brushed off, ignored, not believed,’ she added.
X user known only as @DJH69, also wrote: ‘Can totally sympathise with Naga Munchetty and many other women. I suffered with adenomyosis and was told by many male doctors it was all in my head.’
BBC Journalist Olivia Otigbah tweeted: As a woman (and technically a colleague of Naga’s) who was diagnosed with adenomyosis this year I’m so grateful she’s raising awareness of this issue!’
She added: ‘I’ve seen all male doctors most of whom don’t appear to fully comprehend or care about the implications.’
Charities estimate 10 per cent of women suffer from the little-known condition, which can remain undiagnosed for years.
Adenomyosis occurs where the lining of the womb — the endometrium — buries deep in the muscular wall of the uterus.
The displaced tissue continues to act normally — thickening, breaking down and bleeding — during each menstrual cycle.
This can result in an enlarged uterus and painful, heavy periods.
Appearing before the Women and Equalities Committee, Ms Munchetty revealed how she only got answers when she went private.
Responding to a question by Tory committee chairwoman Caroline Nokes, on her experience of the condition, Ms Munchetty said: I started my period at 15. It would last for 11 or 12 days.
‘Eight or nine of them were very heavy. I’d throw up on the first day, pass out once or twice during the cycle. I’d be wrapped around a toilet.
‘I’d still go to school. I still went to work. Whenever I went to the doctor I was told it was normal.’
She added she was told by doctors to just to ‘suck it up’ and ‘you’re normal’ and ‘everyone goes through this’.
This was ‘especially’ prevalent in ‘male doctors who’ve never experienced a period and then by female doctors who hadn’t experienced period pain’, she said.
Taking to X today, another user known only as @oxfordgirl191, also wrote: ‘Thank you for speaking out! My story’s not dissimilar. If it happens to someone like you there’s no hope for the rest of us!’ Hazel Storey, known as @spikeyspooney on the platform, meanwhile said: Huge admiration for Naga Munchetty sharing her horrific personal experience & raising awareness of adenomyosis.’ She added: I had this (and endometriosis) for years before diagnosis too’
She first revealed she was suffering from the condition in May , telling her BBC Radio 5 Live show that her husband (pictured in April 2017) had been forced to call an ambulance after a flare up
‘For work, I wouldn’t sleep because I’d set an alarm at 2am to change the towel and super heavy tampon. It made relationships difficult, I’ve have had very understanding partners,’ she said.
‘My adenomyosis wasn’t diagnosed until 47.’ Ms Noakes responded, ‘So 32 years’. Ms Munchetty replied ‘yes’.
Taking to X today, another user known only as @oxfordgirl191, also wrote: ‘Thank you for speaking out! My story’s not dissimilar. If it happens to someone like you there’s no hope for the rest of us!’
Hazel Storey, known as @spikeyspooney on the platform, meanwhile said: Huge admiration for Naga Munchetty sharing her horrific personal experience & raising awareness of adenomyosis.’
She added: I had this (and endometriosis) for years before diagnosis too.’
Read more: Naga Munchetty’s agonising womb condition explained – and the tell-tale signs YOU might have it
Ms Munchetty first revealed she was suffering from the condition in May, telling her BBC Radio 5 Live show that her husband had been forced to call an ambulance after a flare up.
‘The pain was so terrible I couldn’t move, turn over, sit up.
‘I screamed non-stop for 45 minutes.
‘And then it happened again in the middle of the night and we had to call an ambulance because I couldn’t be moved. And I was just screaming,’ she said.
Adenomyosis is commonly diagnosed in women over 40, although it also affects younger women, and often it is only discovered at routine screenings, meaning many women have it without knowing.
Possible treatment options include hormonal contraceptives, painkillers and anti-inflammatories.
But in some cases surgery to remove the womb, a hysterectomy – which Ms Munchetty said she is resisting to avoid early menopause – is the only solution, though this is not suitable for younger women who are hoping to conceive naturally.
Addressing the committee today, Ms Munchetty also revealed how she ‘never said anything at school’.
She added: ‘I worried about bleeding through my uniform, it happened. I wore shorts and two pairs of tights.
‘I never said anything to my employers, I would be dosed up on painkillers. Sometimes still am. You learn to take two paracetamol then two Nurofen. I tend to exceed what you should take.
‘You time your painkillers, you become almost paranoid about when you take the toilet break.
‘I’m on air for four hours, in the regional ops – the two or three minute break – I will make sure to flag half an hour before when I need to go.
‘No-one can be in that toilet, I will be grumpy if someone is in. I have to go. There’s an immense pressure on your bladder too, from a swollen uterus.’
She added: ‘You are paranoid about bleeding through your clothes.’
She also acknowledged she was ‘fortunate enough to be able to have private healthcare’ and said accessing it was the ‘only time I felt I could sit there and take time and force an issue, force understanding, force explanations from my gynaecologist’.
In some cases surgery to remove the womb, a hysterectomy – which Ms Munchetty said she is resisting to avoid early menopause – is the only solution to adenomyosis, though this is not suitable for younger women who are hoping to conceive naturally
Ms Munchetty addressed the Women and Equalities Committee today alongside broadcaster and ex-reality TV star Vicky Pattison, who shared her own experience of premenstrual dysphoric disorder
It’s not known exactly why adenomyosis happens. But the NHS notes it is ‘likely’ that women with adenomyosis ‘have a predisposition due to their genes, immune system and hormones’
Vicky Pattison also said she was made to feel ‘stupid and ashamed’ and ‘even more invalidated’ by doctors when she visited them in pain. Her symptoms, including ‘crippling anxiety’, insomnia and fatigue were dismissed as pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) by medics up and down the country, she claimed. Ms Pattison is pictured with her partner Ercan Ramadan last month
It was also the only time she could ‘not feel bad that I was taking up more than 10 minutes of my GP’s time because there was a queue of people in the waiting room’, she added.
‘No woman says she’s in pain unless she is in real pain. No woman says she is anxious unless she is really anxious,’ she said.
‘No woman wants to appear weak or appear incapable until she really is, until she can’t cope anymore. And it shouldn’t be that way.’
But she also acknowledged it is equally ‘really easy to dismiss men as not caring’.
After sharing her experience on her Radio 5 Live show, one listener, known only as David got in touch, said his partner has adenomyosis and endometriosis, she told the committee.
Read more: TV star Vicky Pattison says doctors made her feel ‘stupid and ashamed’ by dismissing her ‘horrendous’ period disorder which can leave her sofa-bound for 10 days at a time and feeling like ‘world would be a better place without you in it’
‘He said it’s really hard on partners to have to witness their loved ones in agony and powerless to do anything about it. That was typical, I had lots of men get in touch after 5 Live.
‘They’re not given the information. They’re expected often to just sit there and be quiet while their partner or female loved one says they’re experiencing this,’ she said.
‘Because they’re not experiencing it, they’re almost not allowed to say it.
‘What they witness, the pain, the anxiety, the sleepless nights, the stress, the physical discomfort, it’s almost like that’s not important.’
She added: ‘They do want to be involved. They certainly don’t have the tools or information to help.’
Ms Munchetty addressed the committee alongside broadcaster and ex-reality TV star Vicky Pattison, who shared her own experience of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Ms Pattison said she was made to feel ‘stupid and ashamed’ and ‘even more invalidated’ by doctors when she visited them in pain.
Her symptoms, including ‘crippling anxiety’, insomnia and fatigue were dismissed as pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) by medics up and down the country, she claimed.
PMDD is a severe form of PMS which causes anxiety, depression and, at its worst, psychosis or suicidal thoughts.
The committee’s inquiry is examining the challenges women face when they are being diagnosed and treated for gynaecological and reproductive conditions.
It is expected to make recommendations to the Government to help reduce disparities that exist in diagnosis and treatment.
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