A young woman has started early menopause at 21-years-old in a bid to help her crippling pain.
Olivia Jackson, 21, from Hull in the UK, says she has suffered with endometriosis since she was 11-year- old, however was not diagnosed with the condition until 2018.
The nursing student made the decision to in March this year to kickstart early menopause after her endometriosis had left her bed-bound.
"I had to have injections into my arms once a month every month, which made me experience the menopause,” Olivia said.
"The treatment stops new endometriosis from forming and should help with the constant pain that comes with the condition.”
However, Olivia says the treatment brought its own struggles as going through the menopause at the age of 21 was extremely difficult.
“It made me feel so ill all of the time. I suffered some extreme stereotypical effects of the menopause,” she said.
This included her hair falling out, ‘awful hot flushes’ and night sweats.
“I was extremely irritable and I had really poor sleep,” she said.
Olivia said she made the decision after not being able to live like a normal 21-year-old due the severe pain she was in.
“For my 21st birthday I had a night out arranged, but I had to come home after just one hour because of overpowering pain and bleeding,” she said.
“My anxiety and depression got really bad because I felt really isolated going through this alone, none of my friends could understand it. I had to start counselling so I could speak to someone.
“I could not get my head around the fact I was in the menopause while I was so young, I felt so weird.”
Olivia says that the hardest thing about experiencing menopause at such a young age was explaining it to others and people’s ignorance towards the issue.
“One day at work I was experiencing a hot flush, and one of my colleagues told me to stop being so dramatic and be grateful that I do not know what the menopause is like,” she said.
“It made me feel extremely awkward and embarrassed. It is hard explaining to my friends too, why I cannot go out with them all the time and have fun. It is hard to come to terms with it myself.”
Olivia has suffered with endometriosis throughout her teenage years at secondary school which led to bullying, she would bleed extremely heavily which often leaked.
“Since my endometriosis diagnosis, it has been a struggle. The worst part has been coming to terms with the fact that I may never be able to have children,” she explained.
“This is really difficult for me as I love children, I am in the middle of studying paediatric nursing. I have always wanted kids of my own.
“I am starting to deal with it better, thanks to my supportive boyfriend. I am just trying to keep as positive as I can.”
Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.
Or if you have a story tip, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.