It was a surprise for Siobhan when she experienced the first signs of menopause at 35. She had no family history of early menopause and had not had any surgery that might bring it on.
I was 35 and going through a bad time with very heavy periods, which never seemed to end. I was having dreadful night sweats; I was up 5 or 6 times a night. I also had uncontrolled hot flushes at work during the day. My moods were very erratic and my temper was wild – I’d fly off the handle for no reason. I really didn’t know what was going on with me at the time. I thought I was just finding life extra hard. I felt out of control and very lacking in confidence to make decisions, which made my temper all the worse. Eventually, I was diagnosed as having early menopause.
It was a total shock. Because now I knew, I definitely couldn’t have children. This was devastating news, as I hadn’t had children. And I got the news at a time when all the talk among my friends was of how so many women were having babies into their 40s. I wanted children, I really love children, I work with children. I have three nieces who I absolutely adore, but would love to have had my own. This confirmation of the fact that I couldn’t have any children of my own was very, very hard to accept.
Having the diagnosis of premature menopause gave me an explanation, which was very, very helpful. At least knowing that it was the menopause gave it a name and made me realize that I wasn’t just going mad. I was given HRT, mainly because my night sweats were so bad and it also helped with my temper. I’d advise others to find out all about HRT because there is a lot of new information out there.
I managed to get over it, with a lot of work, once I realized what I was going through. I think you need to get treatment and help and then get on with your life as soon as possible.