This year, at the age of 28, I have experienced the menopause. At the age of 22 I was offered the treatment of an artificial menopause to help with endometriosis, but this year I bit the bullet and took the male doctor’s advice that “it wasn’t so bad” and began an artificial menopause.
For me the menopause was something old ladies, maybe grannies, experienced. However since going through an artificial menopause I’ve realised that more people are experiencing it than you realise, yet very little is said about it. It is almost a taboo that no one dare speak about. Who wants to know that you’re reaching the end of your periods? Surely we talk about pregnancy and periods but why not the menopause?
The menopause was not easy. I can easily say the best part of my artificial menopause was when I came off the treatment and stopped it. Returning to “normal” made me feel completely different after four menopausal months.
I was prescribed nafarlen and began with my artificial menopause. To begin with I experienced terrible headaches, nothing touched them. Luckily this stage only lasted a few weeks for me. Then began the hot sweats. Initially, I thought the menopause wasn’t a big deal. It seemed to make my blood sugars exceptionally well controlled. Every morning I woke to a nice flat line on my CGM and for the first month my insulin to carbohydrate ratio decreased dramatically. I didn’t even seem to get post meal spikes. Even towards the end of taking my treatment my diabetes was exceptionally well controlled. Since stopping my treatment my basal rates have all had to be increased. Especially in the morning and over night! There is a lot to be said for hormones.
Things were going well…
Until the hot sweats. I can only describe a hot sweat as feeling as though your blood is boiling from your feet to your head. Soon colleagues were noticing that I would go from wearing next to nothing with windows open to being cold and wrapped up. Little comments came my way along the lines of if I wasn’t so young they would know what was up! Little did they know! Post eating my sweats were worst. I would have to stand outside to cool down or only eat a small amount. Then getting into bed would result in a flurry of hot sweats. Sheets on, sheets off. I can only imagine watching me in bed would be akin to watching a yoyo!
Next came the dry eyes. My eyes were constantly dry and itchy. No matter what I did. I wore my glasses, I washed my face, changed mascara. I now know why you can buy eye drops in the supermarket. Along with the dry eyes came itchy skin. I felt as though I was constantly using moisturiser yet the itching could not be kept at bay!
As if that was not enough a pack of grey hairs erupted on my head – since stopping the artificial menopause I haven’t had one grey – going from zero greys to what felt like a full head was not fun.
I am now menopause free and although my diabetes control isn’t as good – I think there is some research to be done here – I am definitely enjoying being menopause free. The menopause is hard work. It is exhausting and I’m hoping I can wait at least twenty years before I have to experience it again. However all being said the use of an artificial menopause has given me the benefits and outcome I needed. Not all bad I suppose. Perhaps I need to stop moaning?!