Breaking The Silence :: The Misconceptions Of Early Menopause

Breaking The Silence :: The Misconceptions Of Early Menopause

I am a young, vibrant, healthy 40-year-old woman. I routinely schedule and attend all preventative care appointments; it’s my goal to stay on top of anything that can potentially affect my health. I have young children and a husband, I am doing all that I can to be here with them on this earth for as long as possible. However, even with all the precautions I took, my body had other plans for me a few months ago.

It was a normal day, I felt great but suddenly I experienced this burst of pain on my side. I honestly thought my appendix was rupturing so my husband rushed me to the doctor. I was informed that I was passing kidney stones; it was brutal. The doctor then asked if I’d seen my OB because he could see abnormal tissue on my scans. I informed the doctor that I’d seen my OB a few months prior but that I’d follow up to be safe.

I called my OB and read what the discharge papers said, and they requested that I come in immediately. After having an ultrasound, I was told that I had a large cyst attached to my ovary. I was in NO pain at all and my stomach looked normal, I was shocked. I learned that cysts could grow rapidly, which is what happened in my case. There was no sign of the cyst during my previous visit.

My other ovary looked healthy and normal, so I had surgery to only remove the one ovary and the cyst.

Breaking The Silence :: The Misconceptions Of Early MenopauseAll was good for about 3 months. One day not long after I experienced excruciating pain again, I called the OB and they scheduled me to come in immediately. During the ultrasound, the nurse informed me that there was a cyst attached to my remaining ovary and it was as big as the previous one. After consulting with my doctor, we determined that it was best to remove the ovary, cyst, and uterus since I didn’t plan on having any more children.

However, having this surgery would force me into menopause at 40! While I did understand this, I didn’t fully comprehend what that would mean for me physically and emotionally; it was all happening so quickly.

Simply put, menopause is the worst! I started experiencing symptoms almost immediately. I am a cold person by nature, but now I randomly experience being HOT often. I remembered hearing that during menopause you experience being hot at night … that’s a lie, it can happen at any moment during the day. It’s a heat that is indescribable! I get so hot at night that I wake up constantly. I’ll be at the office and suddenly I’m so hot I want to take my shirt off, obviously I don’t. Experiencing menopause is something that I thought I wouldn’t go through for a very long time, but here I am. There is medication that helps but I haven’t found a combination that is right for me.

I wanted to write this article to start a conversation about women experiencing menopause at various stages of life.

It’s not the “old lady” experience I believed it to be when I was younger. Before having a hysterectomy, I honestly believed that most women experience menopause later in life. I also believed that this type of surgery was uncommon. After having this surgery, I learned that having a hysterectomy is very common and that women of all ages have experienced menopause or are currently going through it. We need to talk about this type of surgery and experiencing menopause so that we know we aren’t alone. It is my hope that writing this article helps someone out there to feel seen and heard, you are not alone. I pray that it encourages and empowers women to share their experiences. We as women go through so much, that we need each other to help pull us through all the bumps during this long journey called womanhood.

Vivian Winters
Vivian is a true country girl, having grown up in the small town of Loreauville, where her family owned a farm. She moved to Oakland for several years, where she discovered her passion for travel and seeking new adventures. As a proud Ragin Cajun, she earned her bachelor's degree from UL-Lafayette and later completed her master's degree at UL-Monroe. Vivian and her husband have been happily married for 13 years, residing in the Lafayette area with their two delightful and funny children and two large dogs. Their son is 9, their daughter is 8, and their furry companions, a brother and sister pair, are 3. Vivian and her husband often find themselves playing the role of "Uber" for their kids, chauffeuring them to numerous extracurricular activities. As a self-proclaimed foodie, Vivian cherishes living in an area with fantastic food choices. Whenever she can find a moment to herself, you'll likely find her enjoying music, catching up on TV shows, and savoring those precious moments of peace and quiet.


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