Real Stories Q&A: Sarah

Questions & Answers carried out via email, February 2021

Please could you tell us a little about your experience with endometriosis and also surgical menopause?
I was diagnosed when I was 19 with Endometriosis. I then had 2 large Ovarian cysts removed when I was 22. I had a further 4 operations to remove cysts from my ovaries over the next 15 years. When I was in my late 30’s I had my ovaries removed. This put me into the menopause. I was given HRT and sent home to get on with it. Had no idea of the impact it would have on my life.

How long did you it take you to get a diagnosis for endometriosis?
I'd been back and forth to the doctors with period pains since I was 12. I was diagnosed when I was 19 by laparoscopy.

Did your symptoms of endometriosis disappear or remain following your surgery?
I haven’t had a hysterectomy. I still have my womb. I don’t have my fallopian tubes they were removed as they kept filling up with fluid and it was so painful. I was also told that by having them removed my chances with IVF would be improved.

What were you told about surgical menopause prior to entering into it?
I honestly don’t remember being told how it would affect me.

Would you say your quality of life is now better or worse in surgical menopause as opposed to beforehand?
I wish I hadn’t had my ovaries removed although I don’t think I would have been able to keep them. They just kept growing cysts. I still have painful periods due to the HRT I’m on, although having tried quite a few different types this is the only one I have found that it feel like I used to. No one told me that if I had my ovaries removed I would literally lose all my sex drive. I think I know how a dog feels now.

What resources, websites, etc would you recommend to others wanting information and support?
There is so much more information and advice out there these days. 20 years ago, it was very different. I found the National Endometriosis society were really helpful. I can’t remember if the hospital told me to get in touch or I found out about them.