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we talk about what it is like to be in surgical menopause

Surgical Menopause | Dealing with it in your 30’s

This article has been medically reviewed by Doctor Ramlah Tariq FCPS on/gyn, RMP, MBBS, BSc. You can read more about our medical review policy here. It is also based on Rachel’s real life experience.

Menopause is something you associate with being older mostly between the ages of 45 – 55. But, not always. Some people go through it much earlier and medically speaking, it is called premature menopause. In the UK, the youngest person to go through it naturally, due to a disease called premature ovarian failure, was just 11 years old. READ HERE

surmeno in 30s
We speak to Rachel about her experience with surgical menopause, age 30.

Surgical menopause is slightly different. It is brought on by having a surgery, medically termed as hysterectomy in which, uterus along with the cervix of a woman is removed.

But the operation, which removes the ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, and uterus, and causes the body to shut down certain hormones, such as estrogen, almost immediately after the op is called total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (TAH and BSO) was what made Rachel go through surgical menopause.

Why might you have to have the operation?

  • Endometriosis
  • Cancerous cells / cancer 
  • Prolapse
  • Fibroids 
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Adenomyosis

We chat with Rachel who went through surgical menopause at just 30, after having her uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and cervix removed due to cancer cells. Find out about the home remedies and meds she uses daily.

Dealing with surgical menopause in your 30’s  

“Being in the menopause in my 30’s wasn’t quite how I saw life going. But, you can never really know what is round the corner. When I was told about the surgical menopause I really pictured myself wanting to knit and do puzzles, skip the nights out and cocktails. 

surgical menopause in 20s
I was worried I’d feel really different, but I still feel like the same person!

Thankfully, it hasn’t made me feel or act any different. 

It is a taboo subject. Something that is meant to happen when you are getting older, and who really wants to do that?! So when it happens in your 30’s, or at a younger age, it can feel a bit embarrassing. I’ve found that talking about it openly has really helped. Not only to break the taboo, but trying to hide it can be worse than having a slightly awkward conversation with your hairdresser when they ask if you’re having more children.

Each day I have to take HRT gel. This is a gel that goes on my arms and legs. There are pills you can take too, however, when you are young it’s better to be on the gel as it’s likely that I’ll be on it for 20 years. The pills bypass the liver, which can be tolerated for short time but wouldn’t be good for that length of time. Read here

The gel is okay. I mean, I forget to take it sometimes, just like I used to forget the pill. So I really had to find a way to embed it into my routine, both night and day. After the shower in the morning and right before I get in bed at night.

The only thing I’ve noticed about taking the gel is how low my mood can get towards the end of the bottle. When I’m about ½ way through the bottle I find that the pumps get smaller, this can really cause my mood to drop. Now, I start a new bottle earlier or do a few extra pumps. 

surgical meno
I left the hospital with HRT and so far haven’t had a single hot flush

I left the hospital with HRT and haven’t had any surgical menopause symptoms, not a hot flush in sight. Read the research on uses of HRT for treatment of hot flushes 

I’ve struggled with sleep, which is partly due to being unable to switch off. This is a symptom of meno, however, I had been struggling with it pre op, before I started a daily dose of CBD.

I found I got thrush a lot more once in surmeno so spoke to my Doctor about this who prescribed a vaginal cream, this has pretty much stopped me getting it. Basically, when you are using HRT with estrogen, it can cause an increase in frequency of yeast infections like thrush. READ here 

I wrote up all the ways I manage to switch off and get to sleep now in my blog, 5 natural sleep supplements.

It took me a while to come to terms with the fact I’d be going through the surgical menopause, but I’m still me and outwardly, I feel no different.” 

My tips for dealing with surmeno:

  • Stay positive and remember you are still the same person
  • Don’t feel you need to bottle it up, talk to people, it’s nothing to be ashamed of
  • Work with your Doctor to make sure everything is right for you
  • Join Facebook Groups such as The Surmeno Connection and ask other people going through it questions
  • You will feel all the emotions; anger, denial but hopefully finally acceptance. Let yourself feel them, you won’t be sad forever
  • Lots of women have therapy after this surgery, if you feel you need it invest in your mental health and find a therapist

Are you facing surgical menopause? We’ve got first hand experience at Our Remedy and are happy to answer any questions or concerns.

Catch up with us @itsourremedy or [email protected]

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