In Summary
  • Her parents enlisted the help of a private gynecologist to get her a cure, but things only got worse.
  • “I was taken to Consolata Mathari Hospital, which became my second home. I would either be admitted or have my hormone levels monitored.”
  • Many times, the loss of blood would render her unconscious.

Rose Nderitu was not too alarmed when she had her first period at age 13 in 1995. She was a Class Seven pupil at Kihora Primary School in Nyeri.

She had curiously anticipated it for a year, since she had first learned about puberty and the physical changes that come with adolescence in Class Six.

What she didn’t expect was that hers would turn into a nightmare that would torment her from her teens to her married years.

“Once it started, my period wouldn’t stop. They kept getting intense, day after day,” says Rose. “Surviving school became a problem. I felt shamed.

There were times when my period would get so intense that blood would flow through my pad to the ground.” In her better cycles, Rose would always wrap a sweater round her waist to prevent blood stains from from showing.

“It was more devastating when boys would make fun of my leakage or when someone would publicly ask why I had stains on the back of my dress.”

Her parents enlisted the help of a private gynecologist to get her a cure, but things only got worse.

“I was taken to Consolata Mathari Hospital, which became my second home. I would either be admitted or have my hormone levels monitored.”

Many times, the loss of blood would render her unconscious. Whenever she was admitted at the hospital, a blood transfusion would be made to replace the blood she’d lost in her menses.

Rose joined Moi Equator Girls Secondary School in Nanyuki in 1998. She would occasionally be referred to Nanyuki General Hospital for examinations and tests but a cause was not found. “All the tests they performed came out negative,” she says. At some point, the doctors tried to see if she was suffering from leukemia but that too turned out negative. “Eventually they told my parents to check our family background. ‘Hii inakaa mambo ya kinyumbani,’ they told us,” she says.

This fresh recommendation turned out to be a wild goose chase and soon, a deficient Rose was back at Consolata Mathari. More tests were done up until 2005 when she was diagnosed with an 8.5 inch ovarian cyst in her left ovary.

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