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Your Stories: Caren Middleton

Hi, I’m Caren. I’m 45 years old and married with 2 lovely daughters aged 20 and 13.

I was plunged into surgical menopause last year following a hysterectomy for a fast-growing large fibroid. My recovery was slow and sent me into menopause. I was perimenopausal from the age of 42 when I started with what I now know was a hot flush and my gynaecologist said that my FSH levels were high before my operation last year.

I work in sales but packed it in this year due to slow recovery from my hysterectomy and lack of understanding from my co-workers surrounding menopause. My supervisor even blocked me on social media for having a few extra weeks off work after going back too soon to a physical job with the host of symptoms. I can only imagine she’s never suffered with menopause!

My worst symptom is the hot flushes day and night but I don’t get wet through in bed luckily. Anxiety has been awful and I find yoga and walking to be good for the soul. I didn’t realise how hard it would be with the anxiety and list of symptoms since. I’m lucky we can afford to take time out and yoga has been good for my mental health as well as walking our dogs and exercise. I’ve only just started HRT although my gyno prescribed tablets after my op until I’m 51. I was too scared to try and a few GPs advised me not to take HRT due to aura migraines, however, I was lucky to see a menopause doctor in June who thought it would help so I’m now on low dose HRT gel but early days and not kicked in yet. I realise I may need to increase my dose yet. The clinic has since had its funding cut so no follow up for me.

My husband has been great but we’ve hardly had sex since due to me not wanting to and the dryness issues. I’m on Vagifem for dryness which has put a stop to our sex life but luckily my hubby is very understanding. It’s great to know I’m not alone so thanks Meg for your help through this challenging time. It has made me reassess what I want and have decided to have time out for me this summer doing what I enjoy and going back to college.