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The challenges of early menopause

Despite estimates that as many as 1 in 20 women experience early menopause, an article in the Daily Mail Online highlights this often unacknowledged, misunderstood and socially stigmatized experience. The author, Melissa Kite, shares her experience of going through an early menopause at age 42, when her friends were still having babies. Given her family history, Melissa was not surprised that she started menopause early. She had given up on having children after being diagnosed with endometriosis in her 30s. Yet, when faced with the hot flushes, night sweats, and “foggy brain” that signaled she was in early menopause, Melissa shared that a small part of her still hoped that the symptoms signaled pregnancy rather than menopause.

She describes her frustration with doctors who are hesitant to prescribe hormone replacement treatment to younger women, irrespective of the severity of their menopausal symptoms. That leaves women like Melissa to seek out alternative natural remedies, which can be expensive and vary in effectiveness.  The experience of early menopause can be quite different from menopause at later ages, making it difficult for women who experience menopause in their 50s to appreciate the unique challenges of their young menopausal sisters.

Melissa has learned to cope with early menopause and her childlessness by focusing on the positive things in her life – particularly her relationships, including becoming a godmother to her friends’ child.

Read more about Melissa’s story here.

Read more about early menopause here. 

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