How ovarian failure almost ruined my life


I had another semi-harrowing doctor’s appointment yesterday.  Turns out doctor number one never actually made me do a blood test to confirm his menopause diagnosis.  My hormones are within normal ranges on the HRT, which I suppose says something. So now the conundrum is go off all HRT for a month to do the blood test, and then tailor my prescription.

Easy, right?  NOOOOO.  Fast forward to two days off the estrogen, and the mood swings were such that I nearly ended up single, and childless.  So that course of action has been well and truly abandoned.  Staying off everything for 30 days is simply not an option, unless someone can loan me a padded cell and a 30 day supply of pethidine.

Interestingly, the doctor mentioned the following risk factors for premature ovarian failure, which is something to take into account if you find yourself having menopause symptoms:

1.     Family history of early menopause

My mom’s family suffer from this, as well as various issues that caused most of the women to have hysterectomies before the age of 30.

2.    Prolonged use of hormonal contraceptives

I was on the pill from age 14 to 24, and then on the depo-provera injection from 28-31.  So yup, it is true, it does do damage.  That being said, having 10 kids probably does a lot more damage, so pick your poison.

3.    Surgery

With my ablation and sterilization, I also had surgery to remove ovarian cysts.  It has to be done, but it can cause an ovary to say “well, screw you then.  I’ll just break down”.  Like mine did.

4.     Having kids

Yes.  I also went “huh?”  Having kids can break your ovaries.  Not having kids probably can too, I don’t know.  That’s the fun thing about being a woman:  No one really cares.  You generally have two options in life, being take option A and die eventually, or take option B and die eventually.  In my case, too much hormones will cause cancer, and too little will cause cancer.  No one seems concerned about this, and I really don’t see any groundbreaking studies being done about it.

So if you put everything together, I was the perfect storm for this situation.  In my hormone induced meltdown earlier the week, I couldn’t help but feel this horrible sense of loss. The imbalances make you a little crazy, and it’s like everything just turns inward, and a molehill becomes Everest.  There is a reason older ladies go through this, and not us: I’m not equipped to deal with feeling this horrible loss of control at the age of 31, with small kids and a young partner and a budding career.  My body was not meant to just shut down.

The way forward is still a bit murky, to be honest.  It just seems like a whole lot of hurry up and wait at this stage.  Finding the funny is a bit tough today. 

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