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Ovarian failure at age 42

I was having hot flushes, memory loss, overwhelming feelings of being unable to cope, painful and heavy periods, tearfulness, trouble sleeping, very bad dreams, palpitations, pains in my hands, knees and feet, tiredness, loss of libido, you name it I seemed to have it.

You could have knocked me down with a feather when my doctor told me that the hormones in my pituitary had increased indicating that my ovaries were failing. He was as surprised as me because I had post-natal depression and he was convinced I was just depressed when I went to him with my symptoms two years ago.

I was having hot flushes, memory loss, overwhelming feelings of being unable to cope, painful and heavy periods, tearfulness, trouble sleeping, very bad dreams, palpitations, pains in my hands, knees and feet, tiredness, loss of libido, you name it I seemed to have it. Every day living became impossible without major effort. I would have conversations in the morning and completely forget I had had them in the afternoon, leading to problems at work and mistakes.

I don't know anyone in my family who has had early menopause and none of my friends have it so I felt like I had no-one who understood. My mum said it wasn't the end of the world, and to stop sulking (not very sympathetic I know), but I felt like I was much too young for this stage of my life and didn't feel that it was fair to land this on me now. After all I have school age children who need me. Why should they have to put up with my mood swings and irritability simply because my hormones are up the spout? Everyone I had ever heard about had children who had left home before they started menopause, so it didn't affect their children.

I'm on HRT now and I'm starting to feel normal again. I don't shout as much, and I'm getting my housework done and holding down my job. I still struggle with libido and sleep disturbance, but on the whole I'm much better. I don't know how long this will go on, but my doctor says I should expect to spend the next 10 years on some kind of HRT.

I've just discovered that the hormones need re-balancing again which means yet another trip to the doctor (I thought once you were on HRT that was it but apparently each time your natural hormones deplete, you need extra to make up for it). After the severity of my symptoms, I'm prepared to do anything. I've told my husband that after 20 years of looking after the family, it's my turn to be looked after and he has been absolutely fantastic at extra cuddles and sympathy. I'm glad he's here.

Sarah

 

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Updated  05/15/2010