At 23 years old, Lorena never suspected a routine checkup with her doctor would begin a two-year journey to post-menopause.
She'd had no inkling anything was abnormal. She was on contraception and was still getting regular periods, so why would she?
But an ultrasound revealed abnormally small ovaries and her doctor advised her to stop taking the pill. Her contraception had masked any symptoms, but as soon as she stopped taking it they began.
Hot flushes, fatigue, mood swings. Her periods stopped.
On No Filter, Mia Freedman speaks to Dr Ginni Mansberg about everything you need to know about menopause. Post continues after.
Perimenopause had begun, but it took two years for doctors to actually figure out what was happening to her body.
"I did all the medical exams that you can imagine... At age 25 finally one doctor looked at me and said what is happening is early menopause," she told Mamamia.
Lorena recalled a rollercoaster of emotions; shock, confusion, anger, loneliness, grief.
She had always wanted to have kids and her first reaction to discovering she couldn't was to cry.
Lorena's relationship broke down and her work became untenable as her employer didn't care about her life outside of the office. There were social issues and her mental health suffered too, and all the while she was physically battling symptoms and side effects from hormone replacement therapies.