Teenager who will never have children after going through early menopause at FIFTEEN admits she’ll never come to terms with her condition – and doctors can’t explain the cause
- Annabelle, from the UK, is sitting her GCSEs while going through the menopause
- Recalls having a hot flush in science lesson which teacher likened to condition
- Doctors don’t know why her ovaries stopped producing eggs and oestrogen
- Teen admits news she will never be able to have kids hit her mother hardest
- For 1 in every 10,000 women, menopause symptoms can start before age of 20
A British teenager who can never have children after going through the menopause at 15 admits she’ll probably never come to terms with her condition – but still considers herself ‘lucky’.
Annabelle told how doctors don’t know why her ovaries ‘shut down’, meaning they no longer produce eggs and oestrogen.
She is among the one in every 10,000 women who experience menopause symptoms before the age of 20.
The brave teen, who is currently sitting her GCSE exams, told how she takes daily medication in the form of a hormone replacement pill to stave off her hot flushes, which leave her ‘red and sweating’.
Annabelle told how doctors don’t know why her ovaries ‘shut down’, meaning they no longer produce eggs and oestrogen
Appearing on BBC Breakfast this week as part of their week-long discussion to break down the taboo surrounding the menopause, Annabelle admitted hearing she can never have children ‘shocked her hard’.
‘It’s unbelievable,’ she said. ‘I don’t know what’s inside of me right now, it’s just a blank space.’
Annabelle told how she has ‘horrible’ hot flushes every day, which make her feel ‘trapped’. She once experienced a flush during a science lesson at school – to which the teacher observed she gets them because she’s going through the menopause.
The student said that acted as a lightbulb moment: ‘Automatically it struck me that I could be going through that.’
Annabelle told how she has ‘horrible’ hot flushes every day, which make her feel ‘trapped’. She once experienced one during a science lesson at school – to which the teacher observed she gets them because she’s going through the menopause
In a previous home video, a flushed Annabelle is seen experiencing the unpleasant symptom, exclaiming: ‘I’m so red, I’m sweating. Even my arms are red, my chest, oh my God.’
Following her official early menopause diagnosis, Annabelle said that was the point where she felt like she could ‘cry about something that I knew I had’.
‘I didn’t expect my friends to understand,’ she admitted.
‘I felt like I didn’t want to drop something on them or weigh them down with a problem that wasn’t theirs.’
Following her official early menopause diagnosis, Annabelle said she was devastated for her mum and dad as well as herself, as they will never be grandparents
Annabelle added that the impact of her condition has been ‘monumental’ on her parents.
‘Obviously they wanted grandchildren,’ she said. ‘My mum was especially disappointed.’
Her mother Amanda added: ‘It was a dreadful shock, and obviously we both had a cry, and we won’t be grandparents either, which is a shame, but it’s more about Annabelle really.’
The teenager admits she felt ‘very alone’ as a consequence of going through the menopause at such a young age.
During the segment, Annabelle and her parents visited University College Hospital in London to get the results of her blood tests and bone density scan
Annabelle said her early menopause hit her mother Amanda especially hard and hurt her dad as well
‘You have no one to talk to, no one else has it, so it’s really hard at my age,’ she admitted.
‘It really frustrates me… inside you’re thinking, “Why, why me?” and really just want to know why, why it’s happened.’
What is the menopause?
The menopause occurs when a woman stops having periods and can no longer fall pregnant naturally.
It is a natural part of ageing, which occurs in women between 45 and 55 years old.
However 1 in 100 women can experience menopause before the age of 40, which is known as peri-menopause, premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency.
Symptoms often include hot flushes, night sweats, low mood, reduced sex drive, vaginal dryness, an increase in facial hair and difficulty sleeping.
According to NHS advice, symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around four years after your last period.
Premature or early menopause can occur at any age, and in many cases, there’s no clear cause.
During the segment, Annabelle and her parents visited University College Hospital in London to get the results of her blood tests and bone density scan.
But Annabelle’s hopes that they will shed some light on why she’s been diagnosed with early menopause were dashed when doctors told her there’s ‘no real reason’.
She said: ‘It was really disappointing because it’s frustrating that there’s no real answer to what’s happening, it’s just this whole big mystery, what’s going on inside my body.’
‘I don’t think I’ll ever come to terms with it completely,’ she added, explaining that she is doing her best to remain positive.
‘There’s always someone going through so much worse. So to think that there’s someone going through something worse than me makes you feel lucky more than anything.’
Earlier this week BBC Presenter Louise Minchin also offered a candid account of her own experiences of going through the menopause during a discussion with colleagues Carol Kirkwood, Naga Munchetty and Sally Nugent.
After looking at a list of potential symptoms of the menopause including palpitations, depression and loss of muscle mass, Minchin said: ‘I’ve ticked off more than half of those symptoms.’
Asked about how she knew she had definitely started the menopause, mother-of-two Minchin explained: ‘It was kind of obvious. My main problem is night-sweats – and it’s like I’ve run a marathon in Malaysia in a jungle six times a night.’
She added: ‘I think I’m a little bit young to have started it at 47. I thought it’d be 55!’
Brave Annabelle admits she felt ‘very alone’ as a consequence of going through the menopause at such a young age – but still feels ‘lucky’ as there are other people going through worse
Sally Nugent said she wished she’d been able to speak to her late mother about it, saying: ‘Mums should be able to speak to daughters.
‘I wish I’d had that opportunity to ask my mum about it because she would have gone through it – and I had no clue’.
As part of the segment, a BBC floor manager was filmed having a hot flush on set at work to show the realities of coping with symptoms of the menopause when they occur during the working day.
Earlier this week BBC Presenter Louise Minchin also offered a candid account of her own experiences of going through the menopause during a discussion with colleagues Carol Kirkwood, Naga Munchetty and Sally Nugent
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