(Liz Hull, Daily-Mail)
A Scottish student aged just 22 is having the menopause induced because of severe period problems that leave her bedridden and in agony every month…
Katy Johnston, who suffers from the most serious form of the womb condition endometriosis, has begun a series of injections to trigger a ‘medical menopause’.
Doctors warned her she would have hot flushes, anxiety, sleepless nights and other symptoms of the ‘change’ usually experienced in middle-age.
But Miss Johnston hopes that treatment with the hormone-blocking drug Decapeptyl will give her reproductive system a much-needed break and eventually she will be able to start a family.
She said the drug halted ovulation to ‘give my fallopian tubes a rest – they are designed to give my reproductive bits a chance to calm down.’
‘They have given me menopause-like symptoms. Each month it’s like having the worst PMS of all time. I get dizziness, constant hot sweats and my periods haven’t stopped entirely.
‘It’s dreadful, but in my opinion better than being stuck in the house, unable to move or go out. I’ll take a hot flush over agonising cramps any day of the week.’
Miss Johnston’s endometriosis is so bad that her uterus has fused to her bowel
She had four ovarian cysts and her right fallopian tube is badly swollen. One doctor said it was the worst case he had ever seen in a woman so young.
It was after keyhole surgery to drain the cysts that specialists suggested she start injecting a drug to stop her ovulating.
She had suffered years of painful periods which left her bedridden for days with nausea or going to A&E to get strong painkillers.
Doctors had struggled to diagnose her problem and one stage prescribed just Ibuprofen. But after suddenly losing two stone she was referred to a gynaecologist last November.
After surgery at Glasgow Royal Infirmary she was diagnosed with stage-four endometriosis, the most severe form. It causes heavy periods, stomach cramps and, in the worst cases, infertility.
Say hello to our founder Katy Johnston 👋// Katy was diagnosed with endometriosis last year and recently underwent her first laparoscopic surgery. 💪 She has suffered with painful periods for years. Pain which caused blackouts, nausea, vomiting and agonising cramps. Something was up 🤷♀️. Despite years of denial, as her symptoms began to linger everyday: causing pain, brain fog and vomiting that led to a massive weight loss (2.5 stone 😮) Katy spoke up! After raising concerns with her Glasgow GP, Katy was referred to gynaecology where she heard the word endometriosis for the first time. 🏴 Her MRI lit up like a Christmas tree and a following surgery confirmed ‘stage 4’ or ‘severe’ endo, several cysts, an expanded and damaged Fallopian tube and disease fusing the bowel to the womb. 😭 Katy will require a series of surgeries and long term management to control her endo and manage her symptoms. Post op? Katy is doing well and has been put on decapeptyl injections to inspire pseudo-menopause and shut the ovaries down temporarily. 🙃 At 22, Katy is not loving this. Initially, she felt ashamed and her MOODS were terrible. 🤭☔️ She is learning to embrace her condition (although it’s hard) and is positive about one thing – getting the message out! 📣📸 ✉️ Dear girls, speak up if you feel pain. Your story could save someone else from suffering! ❤️✨ . . . #endosilencescot #endometriosis #1in10 #endometriosisawareness
Miss Johnston, a journalist from Aberdeen who has had to leave a post-graduate course because of her illness, added: ‘I’ve always put my excruciating cramps down to a natural consequence of being a woman – something every girl goes through. It took me years to figure out it was way more than that.
‘From the age of 16 my pain each month became unbearable and forced me to miss time all the way through school and university.
‘During my final year of uni I’d pass out, have to stay home for days in agonising pain, vomiting six or seven times a day.’
She will need more surgery to cut away the tissue fusing her organs, but not until her fallopian tube is less swollen.
She hopes the menopause triggered by her injections will be temporary. ‘I do eventually want to start a family,’ she said. ‘The injections have pressed pause on my ovaries. I’m hoping they can turn back on. As someone who is only 22, I didn’t want to be faced with potential infertility.’
Miss Johnston has set up a social media campaign, Endo Silence Scotland, to encourage other sufferers to talk more openly.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is caused when cells that line the womb also grow outside it. The symptoms include lower abdominal pain, pain during sex or urination, sickness, nausea, diarrhoea, depression, heavy periods and difficulty conceiving. It takes an average of 7.5 years for a woman to get a diagnosis of endometriosis.
Treatments include painkillers, contraceptive pills, hormonal injections, surgery and, in extreme circumstances, hysterectomy. It is one of the most common gynaecological conditions in the UK, affecting one in 10 women of child-bearing age. Around 1.5 million UK women are currently suffering from endometriosis.
WOW, we told you we’d be back with a 💥… After some much needed R&R this weekend #endosilencescot is back and we mean business! 💪 Our mission to get people talking about periods, endo, menstrual health and period poverty has only just begun! 🔥 Thanks to the wonderful wumen at @bbcthesocial our girl has been given an incredible opportunity to do just that and spread the word about her endo story! 📣🌍 The video is fantastic and people are really responding!! 🙌 Please girls, get sharing, have a watch – tell a friend. Use this vid to start the conversation about periods & endo in general! Who knows what we could achieve just by using our gift of the gab for something this important!! 💫💫💫 Got a story? 💌 Are you Scottish? Do you have an endo battle you’d like to share? Don’t suffer alone. Get in touch via message or email in at email@example.com 💥 however you feel, you are not alone. . . . https://www.facebook.com/bbcthesocial/videos/1510781255698959/ . . #1in10 #endometriosisawareness #endometriosis #bbcthesocial #endouk #womenwithendometriosis #speakendo #nottheendotheworld
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Author: ANA Newswire