This article was originally published on The Mighty.
For most people who get periods, menopause may seem like a far-off cloud on the horizon — an unpleasant experience we all know we’ll go through someday, but until then, it’s easier not to think too hard about it.
Menopause is the term for the time when your body starts producing less estrogen, which causes you to stop menstruating. It usually starts in your 40s or 50s. If you have an illness that affects your reproductive organs, however, your treatment might cause menopause earlier than normal. This process is called medication-induced menopause (or treatment-induced menopause), and it can be a confusing, frustrating experience, made more difficult by the fact that it piggybacks on top of your other medical issues.