We spoke to Maisie, 25, who told us what it’s been like dealing with premature menopause from the age of 15.
When you’re 25 years old, the menopause can feel like a long way away. After all, the average age that a woman stops menstruating is between 45 and 55, meaning that most of us don’t have to worry about symptoms such as hot flushes or mood swings until then.
Unfortunately, though, this wasn’t the case for Maisie, who was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure when she was 15 – almost a decade ago. In fact, Maisie is actually the youngest person ever to be recognised with the condition in the UK.
“I remember one time at winter and I was doing snow angels in my skirt and shirt, and everyone else is walking up and down the hill with scarfs and hats on. I thought I was literally losing the plot. Turned out to be hot flushes,” she says to stylist.co.uk.
“My ovaries have basically failed. I’ve been through the menopause, and I continue to go through the menopause.”
The side effects are incredibly difficult. Maisie continues to detail how both her physical and emotional health are impacted, so much so she finds it difficult to get out of bed some mornings.
She says: “It’s difficult to function. It’s an Olympic championship for me to get out of bed most days. Hot flushes. Irritability. You’ll feel detached from yourself. Like you’re a third person observing yourself. You’ll feel dizzy. It feels like I have bugs on me at all times. No matter if I want to just be happy, my chemical balance is saying no.”
Remaining positive is something Maisie has struggled with previously, and she continues to deal with the impact her condition has on her emotional wellbeing. “I went through a massive –well, I don’t think I’m truly out of it, but I am a lot better than I was – depressive part of my life from the age of 16 onwards. I know for a fact I can’t have children. This was the gut punch. I’m mourning something I never had, but I’ve always wanted. So it does hit me pretty hard sometimes.”
But, while she feels that a taboo still lingers around the menopause, Maisie says that there are some brilliant support groups that women can look to.
“Every woman at some point in their life will enter this stage. I’ve just entered it a little bit earlier. The support group is amazing, it’s called Daisy. So when I did finally get into that it was brilliant, there’s like-minded women on there. There’s a lot of advice. You can understand each other without having to explain yourself,” she says.
“We can’t have a talk about women’s reproductive systems. It’s a bit of a taboo still, but it should definitely be a discussion we have. You know, it’s half of the world. Conversation needs to start.”
Watch the full video above.