The symptoms began when I was 27 and doing one of my routine birth control Pill "cleanses" whereby I allowed my body space to do its thing. My period had become really scant on the pill, which I was told was normal. But off, my period never returned and I had such bad night sweats that I drenched the bed through and through.
I consulted my OB/GYN. She asked if I was trying to get pregnant, I told her I was not. She deemed any further testing unnecessary and advised me to return to the Pill until I wanted children - we could seek out treatments then. The Pill masked the symptoms of my POI and I returned to very light-flow and dark-colored periods.
At age 30, I was interning in China - noting how adorable Asian babies are and realizing that my clock is seemingly ticking for the first time ever. I want not only to raise a baby, but to carry one. Not feelings I was prepared for - having thought previously that I would adopt (this is before I got to know many adopted kids personally and had reconsidered for financial reasons).
Also while in China, my birth control ran out. And unaware that I could get more Pills over-the-counter, I once again suffered menopausal symptoms - hot flashes, abnormal hair growth, sleeplessness, weakened bladder control. But also, my lower back hurt constantly. I was set to return to the US in about 2 months at this point, so I waited it all out.
Back home, I took my time making my way to the doctor, wishing a period upon myself. The doctor, who because of my back pain suspected a tumor, sent me for an ultrasound. Well, the tech didn't see a tumor. She also couldn't really make out my ovaries (the follicles help ultrasound techs identify the ovary) and told the doctor as such. They sent me to an OB/GYN who took a blood sample. I remember laughing with my friends saying, "it's as if I were in menopause."
Two days later, a phone call disrupts me from class. I jump out to answer and it's a nurse telling me I am in menopause. "But I'm only 30!" I remember saying.
"Oh. Well, the doctor wrote down that you're in menopause and you'll need to be placed on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), would you like to make a follow up?"
It's been 4 years now. I've visited our Nation's top experts in the disease at the National Institute of Health, I've received acupuncture, western & eastern herbal remedies and have recently begun seeing a doctor at the Mayo Clinic - because it's nearby. I'd love to talk to you if you've found yourself in my same boat. If nothing else, to exchange battle stories.