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‘I felt like I was going into labour’: Woman forced to have menopause injections at 31

‘I felt like I was going into labour’: Woman forced to have menopause injections at 31

A woman who felt like she was going into labour every month with severe period pain now faces the menopause.

Sophie Foulds, 31, has always suffered from painful and heavy periods but was put on the contraceptive pill at the age of 13 to help her symptoms.

The mother-of-three says her symptoms worsened 15 years later after having her third child and she was rushed to A&E on her 30th birthday in agony.

After years of fighting for answers, Ms Foulds was diagnosed with adenomyosis, a painful condition where the lining of the womb starts growing into the muscle in the wall of the womb.

The council worker now has to have GNrH injections each month which means she but now is facing the debilitating symptoms of the menopause at the age of 31.

GnRH agonists are injections that downregulate the ovaries, this prevents the endometrium from growing and keeps the lining thin, say the University of Edinburgh.

It comes as the NHS have introduced new draft guidance to offer cognitive behaviour therapy for women going through the menopause.

Ms Foulds said: “It felt like I was in labour every month, I knew when it was coming.

“It was destroying my life, my children were the only reason to keep going.

“I’ve been suffering for 15 years but every time I went to the doctors or hospital they told me I was just having a heavy period.”

After countless trips to A&E, the mother says she was repeatedly turned away and given paracetamol and ibuprofen to treat her pain, during flare-ups.

She told previous employers she was suffering with a bad tummy as she did not know what else to say.

“I was working in an office and I have scars on my tummy from the hot water bottle. I felt guilty for taking time off.

“Every single month I’d be off my feet for a week every month, I’m so lucky to have a supportive partner who picked up the pieces, so many women don’t have that.”

Ms Foulds reached rock bottom on her 30th birthday when she was struck by an excruciating flare up and went to A&E on 30 October 2023.

She says she felt ‘distraught, devastated and defeated’ as she had to miss out on her celebrations and felt medical staff ignored her yet again.

Ms Foulds added: “- I was crying hysterically, I said I will not leave this hospital until I am helped.”

After pushing for a second opinion Ms Foulds was referred to a gynaecologist and had an emergency diagnostic laparoscopy- keyhole surgery to investigate her abdomen last year.

This October the mother underwent surgery and a biopsy of her womb lining growing outside of the uterus to look for borth endometriosis and adenomyosis.

She was diagnosed with adenomyosis on 6 October of this year and now has monthly hormonal injections which mimic the effects of the menopause and shuts down her ovaries.

Now the 31-year-old has to endure the long list of symptoms being menopausal brings.

Eventually, Ms Foulds believes she will have to have a hysterectomy, a womb removal, triggering her to go through the menopause before her 40th birthday.

The mother says she plans on starting therapy since her mental health has declined with the menopausal injections, but feels grateful she has already has her children.

“I just feel old, I feel like somebody young and active trapped in an old person’s body.

“I go to sleep fine but wake up in the night to urinate and can’t get back to sleep so I am exhausted.”

The mother says she also suffers with itchy skin, a dry scalp, headaches, increased anxiety, itchy ears and brain fog.