They’re a vital diagnostic tool for checking womb health, but beware the painful truth about ‘mildly uncomfortable’ internal checks

After months suffering period pains so crippling they took her breath away, Julie Smith just wanted to know why.

‘It was excruciating,’ recalls the 42-year-old mother-of-one from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. ‘And some months it would last several days.’

Her GP told her to take painkillers but when, over the following months, she also started to bleed between cycles, she was referred to a gynaecologist.

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