Scottish woman says she will never be a mum after '˜NHS failure'

A woman has lodged a complaint with health bosses claiming she'll never be a mum after they failed to diagnosed with early menopause - for four years.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 16th August 2018, 1:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th August 2018, 1:13 pm
Laura Close claims doctors said she was "too young" for menopause and "fobbed" her off with anti-depressants. Picture: SWNS
Laura Close claims doctors said she was "too young" for menopause and "fobbed" her off with anti-depressants. Picture: SWNS

Laura Close has launched a formal complaint against NHS Fife, claiming doctors said she was “too young” for menopause and “fobbed” her off with anti-depressants.

The 37-year-old claims she was forced to diagnose herself last year after continuous hot sweats, insomnia and severe mood swings - all symptoms of menopause.

It resulted in the customer service advisor having a breakdown and admitted to a psychiatric unit for nine days.

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But Laura said medics thought she was having a mental breakdown and put her on anti-depressants and sleeping tablets to help her.

Laura, from Dunfermline, Fife, was finally diagnosed in March after her dad was forced to fork out more than £2,000 for her to go privately.

She says the health board’s failures have “completely ruined” her life: “This has been a nightmare from start to finish.

“I’ve lost my house and I’m registered homeless. I don’t even have my job anymore, this is all absolute hell.

“I had diagnosed myself, I had been telling them it’s menopause. I had erratic bleeding and they put me on pill after pill.

“It’s like my GP surgery didn’t have the experience on how to deal with this when I had been complaining about it for so long.

“It has completely destroyed my life and it is all because the NHS didn’t listen to what I was saying, they thought I was too young.

“I was told in May that I probably won’t be able to have kids naturally and it is probably too late for IVF now too.

“I am only 37 so I am really young to be going through this.

“I have tracked my grandad’s sister down and I was told that she went through the menopause in her 30s and so did her sisters and all her cousins. It is hereditary.

“Because I am so young, I am getting hit with severe sweats, the insomnia, depression, mood swings. My life has been absolutely ruined.

“I have been to a private menopause doctor and I am going back to see him. I am on HRT patches but they are not making much of a difference.”

Laura says she struggled to hear that she will not be able to have children naturally.

She said: “It is different saying I am not fussy about kids but when that option is taken away from you, it is completely different.

“It is hard when people around you are all having kids.

“It has affected me mentally and physically.

“I want to raise awareness of what is happening. People shouldn’t be getting treated like this.

“I have always been very sociable but now I can hardly even leave the house.

“I’ve even had to cancel my holiday to Ibiza this year because I can no longer afford it.

“It’s been so long since I last went out to have a drink because I have been on so much medication.

“They have no idea how much this has affected me. There isn’t enough support. I am begging for help.”

Laura has enlisted the support of MSP Annabelle Ewing, who has written to NHS Fife expressing concerns about how she has been treated.

NHS Fife Chief Executive, Paul Hawkins, said: “We are bound by regulations that mean we are not permitted to disclose any personal or medical information in relation to our patients.

“However, we can confirm that we have received a complaint from Ms Close, which we are in the process of investigating.

“NHS Fife is committed to providing the highest standards of care and we take all instances where this may have fallen short very seriously.”

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Early menopause happens when a woman’s periods stop before the age of 45.

It is said to occur in around one in 100 females and can happen naturally if a woman’s ovaries stop making normal levels of certain hormones.

Symptoms of menopause can include irregular periods, hot flushes, headaches, anxiety, lowered libido, weight gain and insomnia.