A woman who went through early menopause at the age of just 17 revealed that she has been taking the pill for 20 years to prevent crippling symptoms.
Anna Timson, 38, of Warwick, West Midlands, began noticing irregular periods and hot flushes while studying for her A-levels.
She was initially diagnosed with high levels of FSH [follicle stimulating hormone] And she was given the pill to help control her symptoms, which brought back periods and stopped hot flushes.
But after she reappeared when she was 21, she was officially diagnosed with menopause as her symptoms returned.
A woman who just went through menopause at the age of 17 has revealed that she has been taking the pill to prevent crippling symptoms for 20 years
The HR worker described her periods as ‘normal’ at the age of 14, but began to notice that they had become ‘irregular and irregular’ at the age of 16.
She said: ‘I had to walk out the windows in class because I was so hot. So menopause diagnosis means a lot.
‘People often associate those symptoms with puberty and being a teenager, so I understand why I missed it when I first went to the doctors.
‘When I finally went back, they did blood tests that confirmed the menopausal diagnosis.
Anna Timson, 38, from Warwick, West Midlands, photographed with her partner Russell, began noticing irregular periods and hot flushes when she was studying for her A-levels at 16.
‘I was in university at the time and it was worse than I could have been told.
She was also devastated to find out that she would never be able to conceive children naturally, and questioned why this happened, she felt that her future was ‘torn apart’.
Having a partner at the time of diagnosis, Anna was worried about what her future would look like, now she had no idea about whether or not she wanted to start a family.
Anna said: ‘At that age, I hadn’t even considered having a family and that decision was taken away from me – it was devastating.
She was initially diagnosed with high levels of FSH, but came back again when she was 21, (pictured) she was officially diagnosed with menopause as her symptoms returned
‘I kept myself shut for months and mourned; I was in complete shock and didn’t want to talk about it because no other people were talking about it at that time.
‘I put it in a box in the back of my head and forgot about it for a long time.’
Anna said the pill ‘hides the symptoms’, and she’s been on it since diagnosis to manage the side effects of menopause.
‘I was put back on the combined pill and have been on it ever since.
‘If I’m not on some sort of hormone replacement, I could get brittle bone disease, which is why they want me to be on it until I’m at the age where hormone replacement Works’.
The HR worker described her periods as ‘normal’ at age 14, but she began to notice that they had become ‘irregular and irregular’ at age 16 (pictured left, at age 17). She wants to raise awareness of early menopause and the devastating impact it can have on one’s life.
Anna wants to raise awareness of early menopause and the devastating impact it can have on one’s life.
Anna regularly uses Daisy Network – a charity providing information, advice and support for women suffering from premature menopause.
She said: ‘I think a lot more is talked about and known about it now and I have realized the importance of using my voice and sharing my story.
‘My sister got pregnant in August 2018 and it took me a lot of trauma.
Anna said the pill ‘hides the symptoms’, and she’s been on it since diagnosis to manage the side effects of menopause. She met her partner Russell, 32, seven years ago (pictured together, right) and is chatting with him about her options for starting a family
What is early menopause, how common is it and is there a cure?
Menopause occurs when a woman stops ovulating and her monthly periods stop.
Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but about 1% of women experience it before the age of 40.
Symptoms of early menopause are similar to those of normal menopause and may include:
- Changes in the menstrual cycle, including changes in normal bleeding patterns, especially irregular bleeding
- Urinary problems, such as increased frequency of urination or incontinence
- increase or decrease in weight
There is no treatment available to get the ovaries to start working again.
Women with early menopause are at increased risk of health problems such as osteoporosis and early onset of heart disease.
It is therefore recommended that they take some form of hormone therapy until they reach the normal age of menopause, around age 51.
This could be the combined oral contraceptive pill, or menopausal hormone therapy (MHT).
‘I finally sought counseling through the NHS and after six months, I felt ready to open up about it and now a lot of people are open to discussion.
‘The worst part is when people speculate or ask when I’ll have kids – I usually answer them by saying I can’t’.
Anna met her 32-year-old partner, Russell, seven years ago and is in talks with him about options to start a family.
But for now, Anna says she is happy and has finally accepted her diagnosis.
She said: ‘I always thought I would be a mother because that is the social norm.
‘My sister offered me an egg and my half and I were about to go through it. But when the pandemic struck, it got canceled and we realized we were happy for now.
‘We have decided that we are fine as we are and if we change our mind, we will do it privately or adopt it.’
Anna said she told Russell ‘directly’ that she couldn’t have children, and that she wanted to be ‘honest’.
She said: ‘If we go through IVF, we will soon have to make that decision because of my age, so more difficult discussions have started recently.
‘I was afraid people wouldn’t want to be with me and I wouldn’t find love because you thought you’d find someone, marry them and then have kids and I couldn’t do that.
‘I feel like for the first time in a long time I’m calm with the whole situation.
‘I used to question why this is happening to me. But this experience has made me who I am today and if I can do something positive with it, I want to.
‘It may make other people uncomfortable but I think it’s good to talk about it’.
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