Woman's agony as she goes through menopause and hysterectomy at 27
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Caters
Jess Ní Mhaoláin, now 30, went into early menopause after suffering from endometriosis so severe that she required a hysterectomy.
She is now sharing her story to help other young women in the same boat and to educate people about premature menopause.
Jess, who is from Cork, Ireland, said: "I had a lot of health issues going on, and it happened in the middle of when all of my friends were having kids and getting married. I was sitting there thinking how will I explain to a future partner I can't have kids?
"I don't have a concrete reason why I started menopause so young, I was told it was a mix of endometriosis complications and premature ovarian failure."
In a bid to get relief from her condition, Jess travelled to London to seek help from a specialist after she 'exhausted' her options in Ireland.
"I remember the consultant in London told me I had one follicle, and a woman my age should have 15. I'd need to have six for IVF," she said.
"I broke down in the middle of the street. I couldn't believe the world was still moving around me with people walking past, while I'd just had the most devastating news."
Jess said that prior to the news, she had been in hospital for three weeks in Ireland and was expecting the London consultant to offer to 'cut out' the endometriosis.
But instead he suggested that her best option was to have a hysterectomy.
"When you go through something traumatic you don’t think about it until afterwards. I knew the decision I had to make, I just wasn't sure what I was expecting? The hysterectomy was the only thing that could give me any sort of quality of life," Jess said.
She now has post-menopause and explained that she suffers a range of symptoms including hot flushes, brain fog, fatigue, and mood swings.
In a bid to manage her remaining symptoms, she is on hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
"If I don't take it, my body feels like it’s a lot older than what I am and it's a horrible feeling when you're only 30," she explained.
Jess said she is even more isolated by the discourse around menopause because it focuses on the experiences of older women.
While she has now 'bounced back' physically and is pain-free, she said it took her a year to accept that she will never have children.
She has now moved to Dublin to live her best life and explained that she can do so many things that were impossible for her before.
"I was left with my own thoughts [during lockdown] and started to question everything I did, but it gave me a lot of time to think, and do things I hadn’t done in years, such as simply going for a walk which I couldn't do before," Jess explained.
"I can also live on my own now and not have to depend on my mum. I can go out with friends when I want and don’t have to worry about how much pain I'll be in and how I feel.
"I'm certainly making up for the years I lost out on."