A UK woman who experienced menopause at age 11 has spoken of her joy after falling pregnant.
Amanda Lewis, 30, is expecting her first child after undergoing IVF with her partner Tom.
Having been diagnosed with early menopause as a child – most women experience it from their mid-40s – she always knew there was a possibility she wouldn’t become a mother.
During an appearance on ITV talk show Lorraine, the dance teacher says she informed Tom of this reality in the early stages of their relationship.
“The way I was building it up, he thought it was something a lot more serious,” Amanda recalls.
“He just said, ‘We’ll look into that when the time comes’.”
The couple decided to try IVF, knowing the odds of it working were not promising.
However, the treatment – involving Tom’s sperm and a donated egg – worked on the first try and Amanda is now three months pregnant.
“It was quite hard to believe it was real until about a month ago, then I thought, ‘Just try and enjoy it now, don’t be stressed out’,” she tells host Lorraine Kelly.
Hormone therapy was required before Amanda tried IVF, in order to increase the size of her uterus – which was particularly small – to accommodate a baby.
Amanda was 11 when she was diagnosed with early menopause. (Image: ITV)
She is still taking hormones, but will finish next month as her placenta will begin producing them.
After she gives birth to her baby in August, Amanda says she will “pretty much go through the menopause again”.
It’s an experience the Nuneaton resident is unfortunately familiar with, having first gone through it at age 11.
The first signs anything was amiss came in the form of sudden weight gain and dramatic mood swings.
“I went from a size eight to a size 18 in a couple of months, and I just started getting quite down,” she recalls.
A blood test revealed her hormone levels were “everywhere”, and a series of further tests and ultrasounds over a six-month period resulted in an early menopause diagnosis.
A combination of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and the Pill have allowed Amanda to manage her symptoms ever since.
After her baby arrives, the new mum will resume HRT.
Amanda and Tom’s first child is due in August. (Image: ITV)
“I’ll also have to have another bone scan to see what damage the pregnancy has done to my bone density,” she explains.
Should Amanda and Tom decide to have another baby, they have three “top notch” frozen embryos to turn to.
“They’re all ready to go if we want more [kids] – maybe not three more,” she says.