15% off £25

000000s
Code:TAKE15
 

15% off £25

000000s

Code:TAKE15

🏷️ 3 for 2OffersOffers Hub3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceBetter than 1/2 priceLast chance to buyShort DatedFree GiftVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDShop all CBDCBD Body BalmCBD CapsulesCBD DropsCBD GummiesCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGinkgo BilobaGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and Aquaceuticals5 HTPSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionWater RetentionAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthPain ReliefCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesValerianSt John's WortRescue RemedyAgnus CastusAshwagandhaEchinaceaMilk ThistleDevil's ClawGinseng & GuaranaBlack CohoshHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyTissue SaltsFlower RemediesHomeopathic RemediesAt-Home TestsVegan Vitamins & SupplementsShop by offer3 for 2 Mix & MatchShort DatedShop by brandHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarNew NordicWeledaBach Original Flower RemediesBioglanBetterYouNatures AidGrass & Co.Free fromDairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubFood & Drink Shop AllComic ReliefEasterVegan FoodHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyJams & ChutneysNut ButtersSpreadsPateTeas & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas & Hot BeveragesCoffee & Coffee SubstituteMushroom DrinksGreen TeaPeppermint TeaHerbal TeaFruit TeaSlimming TeaSleep & Relaxation TeaDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsNutsDried FruitSeedsMixesSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMaca PowderGoji BerriesBaobabMoringa PowderChia SeedsSnacksShop all SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsCrisps & ChipsFlapjacksPopcornFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardHoney, Jams & SpreadsBreakfast CerealsSuperfoodsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsDrinksShop all DrinksKombuchaNatural Energy DrinksJuicesSoft DrinksWaterAlcohol Free DrinksCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksNutritionally Complete FoodMultipacksShop by offer3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceBetter than 1/2 priceShop by brandHolland & BarrettNaturyaGrenadeHeath & HeatherPukkaMeridianNakdTwiningsManuka DoctorBionaFree fromGluten FreeDairy FreeEgg FreeMustard FreeCelery FreeCrustaceans FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeMollusc FreeWheat FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubSports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinClear ProteinWhey ProteinMass GainersVegan ProteinDiet ProteinCaseinBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsEnergy DrinksProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutAmino Energy DrinksAmino Energy PowdersIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsAmino Energy PowdersAmino Energy DrinksBCAAL-LysineGlutamineCarnitineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderCreatine CapsulesSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneSports CollagenRehydrationShop all RehydrationElectrolytesEnergy GelsVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness EquipmentFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossShop by offerSave up to 1/2 Price3 for 2 Mix & MatchFree GiftShop by brandOptimum NutritionPE NutritionUSNGrenadePhDApplied NutritionFoodspringSiSHuelYfoodFree fromDairy FreeSugar FreeGluten FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareSkin AilmentsSkin OilsCBD BeautyHair Skin & NailsWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesMakeupElectrical WellnessSexual WellnessShop by offer3 for 2 Mix & MatchLast chance to buySave up to 1/2 PriceShop by brandDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandMiaromaSukinQ+AEthiqueSo EcoFree fromAlcohol FreeParfum FreeParaben FreeSLS FreePalm Oil FreeGluten FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeNew inCBDWeight ManagementWeight Management HubWeight Management Shop AllWeight Management SupportSlimming TabletsFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersCarb BlockersAppetite SuppressantsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesWeight Management ShotsDiet ProteinDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksLow & No Calorie DrinksExercise SupportShop all Exercise SupportFitness EquipmentMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinProtein BarsShop by offer3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceFree GiftShop by brandOptimum NutritionGrenadeHolland & BarrettUSNPulsinPhDNew NordicSlimExpertApplied NutritionBoombodFree fromDairy FreeSugar FreeGluten FreeWheat FreeNew inVeganHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair Skin & NailsStress AnxietySleep & RelaxationShop by offer3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceBetter than 1/2 priceShop by brandHolland & BarrettVitabioticsWeledaDr OrganicSolgarNew NordicNaturtintOptimum NutritionHeath & HeatherBounceFree fromDairy FreeGluten FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeAlcohol FreeParfum FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeNew inShop for your WellnessImmunityGut HealthMenopauseWomen's HealthFood & DietMuscle & Joint PainSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionConcentration & AlertnessEye HealthSexual HealthChildren's HealthLearn about WellnessImmunityGut HealthMenopauseFood & DietJoints, Bones & MusclesSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast
Lisa Congdon's experience of early Menopause

Lisa Congdon's experience of early menopause

06 Oct 2023 • 2 min read

We dive into one woman’s story on her experience of premature menopause. Menopause before the age of 45 is called early menopause, however premature menopause happens before the age of 40. And in Lisa’s case, her symptoms started to develop early thirties. 

Premature menopause is rare, and estimated to affect 1% of women under the age of 40 years and 0.1% of women under the age of 30 years. However, that’s still thousands of women that might not be getting the support they need or know of other women going through something similar.

The thought of going through menopause during your 20s, 30s and even 40s feels like something that will never happen to you. We’re educated on periods, safe sex, pregnancy and caring for a child but never about menopause.

"Menopause is still something that can be seen as a bit taboo, though Lisa talks to everyone and anyone about it."

Read on for more details on Lisa’s story, how it felt to find out she had premature menopause and how her life is now…

Lisa Congdon was 37 when she was finally diagnosed with premature menopause and prescribed Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), however, Lisa speculates “but at a guess, I'd say I was beginning premature menopause around 32”. 

Lisa and her husband Andy have been together since she was 17, they later got married at 23, and 4 years after at the age of 27 she safely delivered twin boys, Max and Oliver. It was a long 4 years of trying to conceive, filled with “numerous tests and plenty of heartache”, but both Lisa and Andy ultimately got their happy ending.

After the birth of her baby boys, Lisa noticed her periods were the heaviest they’d ever been, though only lasting 3 days instead of the usual 5. She had put this down to going through so much internally from carrying the twins, and so dismissed the change. Lisa recalled “the pain had always been horrific for me since I started at 14”, though she was now being woken frequently by night sweats too.
Lisa’s determination to not let these period-like symptoms get her down was due to her feeling like she needed to keep going for her boys. At times, Lisa even wondered if she had postpartum depression. Experiencing low mood, horrendous periods, lots of tears, plus painful knees and feet – these signs were dismissed by Lisa as the result of “running around after toddlers”.

When Max and Oliver turned 2 years old, Lisa went back to work, working a 20-hour week. “I began to feel stressed and angry and would often shout at cars on the road! I'd get very hot even when it wasn't a hot day. Though again she had put this down to the everyday stressors of being a working mum, “a few years went by, living with these symptoms and not connecting the dots, anxiety crept in alongside the down feelings, and the frustration.” 

Andy, Lisa’s husband, was involved in a life-threatening accident at work, and was “lucky to survive”. With all her symptoms worsening and deeply affecting her day-to-day life, Lisa still tried pushing on through, feeling like she didn’t have time to worry about them as she wanted to help nurse her husband back to health as well as support their boys during this time. 

Lisa shared “I kept going, all with these symptoms affecting me… I put my feelings and aches and pains in a box, and got up every day, got ready for work and put on my mask”, convincing herself that she was ‘ok!’. 

The aftermath of everything that had happened over the last few months triggered a severe panic attack, Lisa decided it was time to have some counselling, having her suspicions that something wasn’t right. “I even asked my counsellor if there was something more as I wasn’t feeling myself.”

It can be quite an isolating experience, especially when comparing yourself to other women or mums. “I wasn't like my mum friends who were working, they were coping. On the outside everything seemed great! I bottled everything up.” Lisa’s counsellor suggested that she should visit her GP and have some blood tests in case she needed a vitamin jab or something similar. Menopause was not considered by the counsellor due to Lisa’s age. 

Lisa shared with us that it wasn’t until January – she had turned 37 in December before – that she walked into the GP’s office, sat down, and burst into tears. Reeling off every single symptom she’d experienced, from mental health to physical pain. Beginning to connect the dots along with some research, it was evident that Lisa was in premature menopause. 

Lisa’s GP had supported her and Andy through their infertility treatment, she also knew of her mum becoming premenopausal at the age of 40 because of the infertility questions asked previously.

“We all knew I'd be early, I thought I'd get to forty. She simply said, 'Lisa I'm surprised I've not seen you before now!' I was at the end of my tether, pretty broken if I'm honest.”

"I'm going to absolutely rock my 40's!"

Once talking through all her options, it was agreed that HRT was the best choice, Lisa recalled, “I went home happy that I wasn’t irrational in my thoughts that something was going wrong, but hugely sad I'd wasted most of my 30's feeling absolutely rubbish, my 20's had been all about getting pregnant and looking back wondering why my hormones gave me so much grief. I then spun it to; I'm going to absolutely rock my 40's!”

Looking back, not knowing whether all the treatment had sparked it to be earlier, the stress of Andy’s accident, or the combination of both, Lisa is soon approaching the 3-year mark of HRT and feels it has been a godsend for her. With all her symptoms gone, along with the decision to have the Mirena coil and gel, she has found this the best combination for her. Truly believing “it saved me, and I have my life back… I am pain free and happy!”

"I have my life back… I am pain free and happy!"

HRT isn’t everyone’s first choice, and some are unable to take it due to medical reasons. Therefore, Lisa’s advice is to educate yourself, eat well, work with a nutritionist if possible (to really understand what your changing body needs), partake in strengthening exercises, relax and have some ‘me time’.

Menopause is still something that can be seen as a bit taboo, though Lisa talks to everyone and anyone about it. She feels that by facing menopause early, it's her place in the world to educate everyone she meets. “Max and Oliver can tell you all about menopause at the age of 12!”. She goes on to explain that once you’re aware that the symptoms you’re experiencing are connected to menopause, you’ll be able to help yourself and “hopefully get through it in a breeze”.

Lisa has shared her personal and honest story with us not to scare anyone, but to educate and inspire. Early menopause can happen before the average age of 51, “and if it happens to you, I don't want you to feel isolated like I did!”.

Handpicked content

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • AmericanExpress
  • ApplePay
  • ClearPay
  • AliPay
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Retail Limited, 2023. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.com is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Retail Limited,. Registered office: Samuel Ryder House, Barling Way, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7RH. Registered in England: company no. 2758955. Registered VAT no. 211727395.