At the age of 34 Kayleigh Ward decided to have a hysterectomy, here she explained the positive impact it had on her physical and spiritual life.


"Let me check your age?" the nurse asked. "I'm 34," I replied. "And it says reason for your hysterectomy and oophorectomy is PMDD is that correct?"

I cried, sobbed actually, because in the whole 16 years of suffering that was the first time I had heard someone say this is what I had.

PMDD is Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder and something I had struggled with since I was 18. There is still very little known about the causes but it’s estimated that 1 in 20 women has it. Recent research suggests that PMDD is associated with increased sensitivity to the normal hormonal changes that occur during your monthly menstrual cycle. I’d often describe it like PMT on steroids.

PMDD meant that for around three weeks each month my whole life would completely fall apart including my faith.

PMDD meant that for around three weeks each month my whole life would completely fall apart including my faith. I would suffer from intense anxiety, brain fog, sadness, anger, irritability, irrationality, harming thoughts, exhaustion along with other physical symptoms too. The day my period came I woke up a completely different person, my head was lighter, I could think straight for the first time in ages and I managed to feel hopeful that, that would be my last ever time of feeling like that. I’d then spend the rest of the next seven to ten days trying to pick up the pieces of the past few weeks and try and get closer to God. Then the cycle would start all over again.

It had entirely ruled my life, fast forward to turning 30 and the birth of my second child (both of which is a common time for PMDD symptoms to worsen) and the condition had such a grip on what I could and couldn’t do. I felt stuck and couldn’t see a way out. I felt that God was so far away during those three weeks each month that going to church became pointless to me.

I knew by the time of my 34th birthday that I was getting to the end of the line of treatment and that my last chance was to have a hysterectomy. And even then, everything that I read was not all rosey and rainbows after surgery. In fact some had lived to regret the irreversible treatment.

Around this time we went away on a family holiday to Cornwall, my period was due while we was there and I was praying that it would hurry up and come so that I could feel the pressure release. So was everyone else I think, while they was walking on egg shells around me. How sad that my family, the ones I loved most in the whole world, were effected by my illness just as deeply as me. I often used to think they would be so much better without me.

I often used to think my family would be so much better without me.

We went to the beach to go swimming together, doing something physical and in water helped me a bit, especially when I felt this low and wanting the world to just stop. I got in the sea and started to feel a bit better until I got caught in a rip tide. I nearly drowned two days before my 34th birthday but my story wasn’t over just yet and that’s exactly what I felt God say to me.

I walked out of the sea that day, completely changed. That was my last ever period. Ever! I started treatment the next month that meant my ovaries would be shut down ready for surgery. That was now three years ago and I’m still rebuilding my relationship with God and making up for lost time on my part. I’m so so grateful that my story didn’t end there.