• In my mid-20s I had surgery to remove endometrial tissue that had grown outside of my uterus.
  • My doctor put me on medical menopause to help my body recover from the surgery.
  • It was only for six months, but it was brutal, physical and emotional.

“are you ok?” she asked my colleague, her blue eyes filled with confusion and worry. “You are bright red.”

We were halfway through facilitating that week’s “mommy and me” support group, and I was sweating and beyond a little flushed and experiencing full-on hot flashes. Had I had the foresight to dress dry and wished I hadn’t had my period in front of eight young mothers and their babies, I would have pulled my thick, fuzzy sweater around my neck.

But I was also young, just 25 years old, and sadly unprepared for what to expect from my body when I started taking monthly injections to help me heal. Menopause To wait for my return Endometriosis And Bay

I had surgery before the medical period

After surgically removing the endometrial tissue, right ovary and bladder outside the uterus, the gynecologist recommended that I go. LupronA monthly injection that medically forced my body into menopause by blocking the release of estrogen. I could give my body a chance to heal while slowing the growth of endometrial tissue and lesions.

“Let’s do it,” I said, a little relieved.

The hot flashes weren’t much worse than the symptoms. A six-month period was associated with a cold New England winter when I was a house-to-house social worker. I’ve found relief by putting the right amount of flaxseed in my iced coffee to manage constipation—an older friend warned me about the sedative effects of overdoing it—and rolling down the window when driving to clients’ homes.

But knowing that I might also experience night sweats, I didn’t realize that this meant I’d wake up soaking wet, my pajamas clinging to my body, my flat-ironed straight hair back into curls.

Little did I know how vivid, vivid, and violent my dreams would become until I woke up exhausted and thinking I needed to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

I gained weight, became depressed, and experienced brain fog. Many times I found myself completely lost in the middle of a conversation, my thoughts seeming to lose chain and link.

“where are you now?” One of my friends asked me. “You seem to be searching your mind for what to say now but you don’t even know what to search for.”

I was worried about going through real menopause.

After completing the Lupron injections, my body returned to its normal mid-20s state. I stopped having nightmares, the brain fog lifted, and I was no longer depressed. But I was left wondering if my experience with medical menopause was a sad preview of what life would be like when I experienced the real thing.

I’m currently in a slow descent into perimenopause, experiencing mood swings, occasional hot flashes and night sweats, and heavy but fast periods that come twice a month. Occasionally, there is a brief interruption in the chain while I speak.

But at 40, I’m no longer young, ready, or alone in what happens to my body. Many of my female friends and I have found comfort in our relationships with each other, our middle-aged bodies to share wisdom, affirmations or tampons for those unexpected moments, creating a sense of community. Our hormones and their effects on us, like midlife mercury retrograde, we lovingly blame for being forgetful or emotional or when we set the air conditioner to sub-zero temperatures.

“not at all youWe like to say, “These are hormones.”

Despite my experiences in the past, I no longer fear menopause. As I enter this next phase of my life, the power of female friendship is grounding me and helping me be brave as I think about what comes next.

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