Woman 30 Who Went Through Menopause At Age 20 Is Crowdfunding Her Ivf As A Last Chance To Have Her Dream Baby
Jade Burns is no longer eligible for more IVF on the NHS in her area but is desperate to have a family
- 19:48, 8 Apr 2019
A WOMAN who went through the menopause aged 20 has launched a desperate bid to have her dream baby.
Jade Burns was devastated when she learned shed be unable to conceive having been diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure six months after starting university.
The 30-year-old has since suffered two miscarriages after becoming pregnant via an egg donor and is no longer eligible for more IVF on the NHS in her area.
So in a last ditch attempt to start a family Jade and husband Jon Burns, 30, are hoping to raise the £9,000 needed to try again through crowdfunding.
Healthcare worker Jade, from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, said: I feel like this is our last chance. I always said I would try three times and that would be it.
Ive thought about what my baby will look like, what we will call them, what school they would go to and what colour wed paint the nursery.
I have a baby drawer with a little blanket and some clothes in it.
Weve called the babies weve lost our two little dots.
I cant see our lives without children in them. Its not really an option.
Having never had a period, Jade visited the GP at the age of 20 and after blood tests three weeks later was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure just six months after starting university.
What Are The Health Risks Associated With Going Through Menopause Early Or Prematurely
In addition to fertility concerns and the experience of having more intense menopausal symptomssuch as hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and mood swingswomen who go through menopause early or prematurely are at higher risk of other health consequences due to the early and rapid estrogen dip.
When a body that is expecting to have estrogen for many more years suddenly has to adjust to its abrupt and early withdrawaldue to surgery or illness rather than the typical slow tapering of traditional menopauseit can experience other adverse effects.
These risks include:
Bone loss, osteoporosis, and fractures
Psychological symptoms and cognitive impairment normally associated with aging
Hot Flashes During Perimenopause
Most women don’t expect to have hot flashes until;, so it can be a big surprise when they show up earlier, during perimenopause. Hot flashes sometimes called hot flushes and given the scientific name of vasomotor symptoms are the most commonly reported symptom of perimenopause. They’re also a regular feature of sudden menopause due to surgery or treatment with certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs.
Hot flashes tend to come on rapidly and can last from one to five minutes. They range in severity from a fleeting sense of warmth to a feeling of being consumed by fire “from the inside out.” A major hot flash can induce facial and upper-body flushing, sweating, chills, and sometimes confusion. Having one of these at an inconvenient time can be quite disconcerting. Hot flash frequency varies widely. Some women have a few over the course of a week; others may experience 10 or more in the daytime, plus some at night.
Most American women have hot flashes around the time of menopause, but studies of other cultures suggest this experience is not universal. Far fewer Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian women report having hot flashes. In Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, women appear not to have any at all. These differences may reflect cultural variations in perceptions, semantics, and lifestyle factors, such as diet.
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Menopause Before : How It Affects Your Body
Q: I’m 39 years old and was diagnosed with premature menopause. What does this mean and what should I do?
A: Menopause is considered to be premature if it occurs before the age of 40. You’re not alone, though approximately one percent of women have premature ovarian failure; their ovaries run out of follicles before their time and consequently stop producing estrogen. Once there is no estrogen to stimulate the uterine lining, it doesnt get built up, there is nothing to slough, and menstruation ceases. The diagnosis of unable to work ovaries is made through a blood test that shows low levels of estrogen, and high levels of follicle stimulating hormone and lutenizing hormone . The pituitary secretes the latter two hormones. Their levels become high when the brain and pituitary are trying harder and harder to get the ovaries to produce estrogen, alas, to no avail.
There are a number of reasons why premature menopause may occur:
Autoimmune diseases Lupus, diabetes, kidney failure, and rheumatoid arthritis can predispose a woman to the destruction of her ovarian follicles and affect her ability to produce estrogen. Your doctor should make sure you don’t have these underlying diseases.
Body radiation and certain chemotherapies for cancer can cause ovarian shut down. And of course women who have had both their ovaries removed during their reproductive years will undergo immediate menopause.
Induced Menopause Following Cancer Therapy
Ovarian damage from cancer therapy depends on the age at treatment and on the type of treatment. Women younger than age 40 years and children are at lower risk for ovarian failure than older women; however, exposure to higher doses of alkylating agents and higher doses of radiation to the ovary are more likely to induce ovarian failure . Based on the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study , a cohort study of survivors of childhood cancer treated at 25 cancer centers throughout North America between 1970 and 1986, approximately 6% of childhood cancer survivors experienced acute ovarian failure during cancer treatment or shortly after completing cancer treatment . Another 8% retained ovarian function during treatment but later developed premature menopause . This is believed to be an underestimate of the true population incidence of premature menopause because the median age attained in this group at the time of analysis was only 29 years .
Follow-up of childhood cancer survivors has identified an increase in miscarriages, an increase in small for gestational age offspring, and a reduction in live births . Longer term health outcomes, beyond cancer free survival, are not yet available; however, these subjects are expected to be at increased risk for osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, psychosexual dysfunction, and decreased quality of life .
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General Recommendations For Ht
Current guidelines support the use of HT for the treatment of severe hot flashes that do not respond to non-hormonal therapies. General recommendations include:
- HT may be started in women who have recently entered menopause.
- HT should not be used in women who have started menopause many years ago.
- Women should not take HT if they have risks for stroke, heart disease, blood clots, and breast cancer.
- Currently, there is no consensus on how long HT should be used or at what age it should be discontinued. Treatment should be individualized for a woman’s specific health profile.
- HT should be used only for menopause symptom management, not for chronic disease prevention.
Before starting HT, your doctor should give you a comprehensive physical exam and take your medical history to evaluate your risks for:
- Heart disease
- Breast cancer
While taking HT, you should have regular mammograms and pelvic exams and Pap smears. Current guidelines recommend that if HT is needed, it should be initiated around the time of menopause. Studies indicate that the risk of serious side effects is lower for women who use HT while in their 50s. Women who start HT past the age of 60 appear to have a higher risk for side effects such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or breast cancer. HT should be used with care in this age group.
Women who should not take hormone therapy include those with the following conditions:
How Is Premature Menopause Treated
The symptoms and health risks of premature menopause, as well as the emotional issues that may result from it, can be managed with the methods similar to those used for natural menopause. Women dealing with infertility that is brought on by premature menopause may want to discuss their options with their doctor or with a reproductive specialist.
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Should I Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy
For those whose symptoms are next-level annoying, both Dr. Minkin and Dr. Seibel say hormone replacement therapy is certainly worth considering. Basically what this entails is taking medication that contains estrogen with or without progestin . “Many women believe that estrogen causes breast cancer or heart disease, but this isn’t true,” Dr. Seibel says. He explains that the reason many believe this is because of a study that came out in 2002 that suggested this. But even though the study has been widely discredited, the myth lives on. “For women who are truly suffering, there’s no reason for it when there is safe medication that can help,” Dr. Minkin says. It’s something worth talking to your doctor about if you’re struggling with symptoms.
Why Menopause Timing Matters
When we look at the things that are the greatest determinants for when someone is going to go through menopause, genetics seems to be the one of the most important things, according to Streicher. Theres a lot of truth in that you may follow what happened with your mother, if she went through menopause late, you may, too, she says.
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Experience: I Went Through The Menopause At 18
Although I loved university, I;would cry at the slightest thing. I’m naturally calm and patient, but I began to feel aggressive, even violent. Once, when I came home from university and my brother hadn’t done the washing-up, I threw a plate at him.
It was only when I graduated and realised it had been four years since my last period that I visited my GP. Until then, life had been busy, and anyway, my mum’s periods often stopped when she got;stressed. Almost immediately, the doctor brought up the possibility of early;menopause and sent me for;blood tests.
I was shocked. I didn’t know it;was;possible before your middle;age. Even when it was confirmed a week later, I didn’t really take it in.
I was referred to a gynaecologist, who told me my fertility would be;short-lived. He even said that if;I;wanted a child, I should go out and have a one-night stand. I;couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was 23, but I was naive and had never had a boyfriend. I;asked if it was possible to freeze my eggs. He said no. Now, I;wish I’d;pushed him on that.
Pregnant women seemed to be everywhere I looked, and I have never felt so jealous or angry. I know it sounds terrible, but I just wanted to hit them. I cried a lot of the time and couldn’t be anywhere near anyone with young children.
As told to Kate Hilpern.
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This Is What It’s Like To Go Through Menopause At Work
Lisa Miller likens her mind to a sieve when menopause brain hits at work.
My co-workers will always be like, Remember last week when we were talking about that slide? and Im like, Nope, I have no idea what youre talking about, said Miller, a customer relations and document control specialist for an aerospace company in Virginia.
Its like my brain is a sieve, and just spots and memories go right through it, like a spaghetti strainer. Its very frustrating. I know my colleagues do get frustrated. I get frustrated.
Forgetfulness and having difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly are common symptoms, collectively known as brain fog, that can affect one-third to two-thirds of people going through menopause, according to researchers estimates.
Its also one of the 34 documented symptoms associated with perimenopause, the phase before menopause when a persons body starts making less estrogen until eventually their ovaries stop releasing eggs.
Although menopause can be surgically or medically induced, there are usually no predictable starting and ending points when it occurs naturally. It often takes place between the ages of 45 and 55 critical career years when people typically take on more leadership and responsibilities at work and consider their legacies.
Because her brain fog interferes with her ability to do her job, Miller, who is 53, said she worries her menopause transition will last into her retirement.
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What Happens During Menopause
During menopause your body stops preparing every month for a baby: your ovaries stop releasing eggs, they make less and less of the female hormones oestrogen and progestogen, and eventually, your periods stop.
The reduction in female hormones can cause symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings, night sweats, anxiety, palpitations, depression, decreased libido, sleep problems and vaginal dryness.;
Why Is Hormone Therapy So Important For Most Younger Women Who Go Through Menopause Early
We tend to think of ovarian function and menses as solely a reproductive issue, but reproduction is not the only function of the ovaries. They are also endocrine organs, and there are estrogen, progesterone, and androgen receptors throughout the entire female body.
This is why it is important to find a North American Menopause Society certified practitioner certified practitioner and start hormone therapy right away if you are in premature or early menopause and dont have contraindications.
Literally every part of a womans body is anticipating those hormones until the age of regular menopause, and losing them early can cause health risks that are normally associated with old age in womensuch as osteoporosis, heart disease, or dementiato arrive early if hormone levels are left unchecked. HT is the recommended course of treatment for all women without contraindications who go through menopause early or prematurely.
There are as many ways to take HT as there are for taking hormones for birth control, from a patch to a vaginal ring, to gels, creams, and pills. Your NAMS certified practitioner can help you find the right FDA-approved dosage, type, and delivery method for you.
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What Is Perimenopause
Perimenopause has been variously defined, but experts generally agree that it begins with irregular menstrual cycles courtesy of declining ovarian function and ends a year after the last menstrual period.
Perimenopause varies greatly from one woman to the next. The average duration is three to four years, although it can last just a few months or extend as long as a decade. Some women feel buffeted by hot flashes and wiped out by heavy periods; many have no bothersome symptoms. Periods may end more or less abruptly for some, while others may menstruate erratically for years. Fortunately, as knowledge about reproductive aging has grown, so have the options for treating some of its more distressing features.
What Are The Symptoms
- Irregular periods
- Hot flashes
- A decrease in sexual drive
- Painful sex
- Thinning and drying of the vagina
Some women may continue to have normal periods and show no symptoms. ;Diagnosis may only be discovered when the FSH levels are measured;and come back with elevated levels. Discuss any menstrual changes;or symptoms with your healthcare provider before coming to any conclusion;about POF.
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What Is The Difference Between Early And Premature Menopause
Early or premature menopause happens when ovaries stop making hormones and periods stop at a younger age than usual . This can happen naturally or for a medical reason, such as when both ovaries are removed in a hysterectomy.
Early and premature menopause can have the same causes. The only difference is the age at which it happens. Menopause that happens before age 45 is called early menopause. Menopause that happens before age 40 is called premature menopause.
Women who have gone through early or premature menopause cannot get pregnant.
Whenever It Arrives Menopause Comes With Health Risks
This is important because estrogen offers protective health effects and there are real health risks for women who go through menopause early, They have increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, says Streicher.
My goal as a menopause expert is that we get those women in our hands earlier. Here at the Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause we see very young women who have gone through natural menopause early or as a consequence of cancer or another health condition, and our goal is to make sure they dont have those increased risks.
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Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms
Your GP can;offer treatments and suggest lifestyle changes if you have severe menopausal symptoms that interfere with your day-to-day;life.
- hormone replacement therapy ;;tablets, skin patches, gels;and implants that relieve menopausal symptoms by replacing oestrogen
- vaginal oestrogen creams,;lubricants or moisturisers for vaginal dryness
- cognitive behavioural therapy ; a type of talking therapy that can help with low mood and anxiety
- eating a;healthy, balanced diet;and exercising regularly; maintaining a healthy weight and staying fit and strong can improve some menopausal symptoms
Your GP may refer you to a menopause specialist if your symptoms do not improve after trying treatment or if you’re unable to take HRT.
Early Menopause: Reaching Natural Menopause Before Age 45
Womens menopause status was self-reported as well, using questions about the cause, whether the transition was influenced by health factors , or hormone therapy. Researchers controlled for factors like smoking, body mass index , alcohol intake, and oral contraceptive use. Reaching natural menopause before the age of 45 was considered early menopause.
- When compared with women who had no full-term pregnancies, women who gave birth had a reduced risk of early menopause. Women with three pregnancies had a 22 percent lower risk, those with two pregnancies had a 16 percent lower risk, and women with one birth had an 8 percent lower risk.
- Regardless of the number of children, months of exclusively breastfeeding was associated with a reduced risk of early menopause. One to six months brought a 5 percent reduced risk, seven months to a year was linked to a 28 percent risk, and 13 to 18 months was associated with a 20 percent reduced risk.
- Women with three or more pregnancies who breastfed exclusively for a total of 7 to 12 months had about a 32 percent lower risk of early menopause compared with women with the same number of children who breastfed exclusively for less than one month.
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