Woman went through a medical menopause at the age of 19 because of her painful condition endometriosis

endometriosis

Source: walesonline.co.uk

A woman went through an artificial menopause at the age of 19 to help treat her painful condition.

Student nurse Kia Morne, now 21, suffers with endometriosis.

It’s a gynaecological condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other areas of the body, most commonly, but not exclusively in the pelvic region.

This tissue responds to hormones in the same way as the lining of the womb but, with no outlet, it can cause inflammation, scarring and adhesions, leading to severe pain and many other symptoms.

Kia started having symptoms when she was 14, before her periods came at 15, when she suffered with abdominal pain, nausea and bowel problems.

She began fainting a year later, due to heavy bleeding during her period.

 

Over time doctors misdiagnosed Kia with food poisoning, allergies and irritable bowel syndrome.

The classic symptoms of endometriosis include severe pain during or between periods, very long, heavy and irregular periods, bowel and bladder problems, back and leg ache, and pain during or after sex.

Extreme fatigue is very common and fertility may also be affected. Misdiagnosis is common, resulting in delays to accurate diagnosis, unnecessary tests, and sometimes unnecessary surgery.

But Kia was finally diagnosed when she was 19 after switching to a female GP and undergoing keyhole surgery called a laparoscopy.

“There are many misdiagnoses, so I felt a sigh of relief that my illness finally had a name,” said Kia.

She added: “Suffering with endometriosis is a continual struggle.

“You feel embarrassed the condition is to do with your periods, then you have to be believed and then you have to be diagnosed.”

In a trial and error treatment routine Kia was first put on the contraceptive pill, but it did not help her symptoms.

She was then given a course of injections that brought on a medically-induced menopause.

The use of these drugs is usually limited to six months because of the side effect of thinning of the bone, Endometriosis UK say.

The injections are GnRH analogues, with brands including Prostap and Zolodex, which are synthetic hormones that bring on a temporary menopause.

The ovaries switch off and temporarily stop producing eggs and the hormone oestrogen.

Kia felt the treatment’s full force of side effects – hot sweats, dizziness, headaches, mood changes, hair loss, bone and joint pain, skin reactions, sleep issues, fatigue, nausea, memory issues, blurred vision, bloating and swelling.

She also has hormone replacement therapy to help alleviate some of the side effects.

The only way to determine if a person has endometriosis is through a laparoscopy and excision is widely seen as the gold standard for treating endometriosis, where the disease is cut out.

Kia has now decided to have the surgery and she also wants to freeze her eggs for the future.

 

“It is odd to be thinking of children when it is something that I’d think about so far in the future,” she said.

Endometriosis does not necessarily cause infertility but there is an association with fertility problems, although the cause is not fully established. Even with severe endometriosis, natural conception is still possible.

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