Happy World Menopause Day!
Today is World Menopause Day and we fully support the awareness and coverage it has been getting recently, with the openness of celebrities speaking about their own menopause experiences and how difficult their lives have been.
It is no longer taboo to be open about being menopausal, with some our favourite celebrities sharing their symptoms and tips from hot flushes and depression to weight gain and aches all due to falling hormone levels.
How do you know you are going through the menopause?
The average age women go through the menopause is 51 – but some symptoms can be triggered way before the menopause even begins. Take depression, for instance, pre-menopausal depression has been shown to occur as early as 10 years before the menopause.
A woman is considered to be in menopause when they have not had a menstrual cycle for 12 months, meaning she is coming to the end of her reproductive years.
Celebrity Views and Experiences
Carol Vorderman – 56
Carol’s menopausal symptoms began when she was 54, where she suffered severe mood swings.
“I had six months when I was really low. I’m not a depressed person but in that space of time, I was genuinely depressed. ..I didn’t have any of those hot sweats and all of that kind of thing. I was surprised how it hit my emotions.” She says
Blood tests revealed Carol’s hormone levels were low. She explains, “It became obvious my depression was linked to the menopause. That knowledge gave me hope.”
Professor Studd prescribed Carol a balanced hormone gel which is applied to the skin – oestrogen and testosterone and a minimum amount of natural progesterone. This combination is derived from plants and more closely mimics naturally occurring hormones in the body than conventional HRT which uses oral oestrogens and contains progestogen.
On the second day of applying the gels and cream, she felt “back to her old self”.
Talking about the treatment he prescribed Carol, Professor Studd says: “The best and safest treatment is hormones through the skin – oestrogen and testosterone and the minimum amount of natural progesterone.”
“The main disadvantages are that women will still bleed every month. The traditional pill doesn’t contain progesterone. Having progesterone is good for energy, mood, depression and libido.”
Carol revealed on Twitter she took Oestrogel and Testim plus progesterone, saying: “From the moment I took it, I have never, ever felt that way.”
Lorraine Kelly, 57
The television present came out as menopausal on ‘The M Word’ segment of her talk show, ‘Lorraine’ which she hosts with Doctor Hilary Jones. Lorraine explains, “there was no joy in my life” and then she realised it was due to the menopause, once Dr Hillary diagnosed her and prescribed HRT she regained her joy!
Amanda Redman, 59
— Amanda Redman (@redman1_amanda) June 21, 2017
Redman speaks out about how the taboo was not discussed at home and how “hideous it was for women of our mothers’ generation – because whilst my girlfriends and I talk about everything under the sun, including the menopause, it was something they didn’t discuss”
Amanda describes the menopause as “ghastly” and also revealed how her breasts increased in size during the menopause. She’d love a reduction – and further plastic surgery – but her husband has other ideas.
The British actress is very candid and open about the menopause “It’s embarrassing. I wish women would talk about it more as it’s not pleasant. I’ve had hot flushes and I am irritable.”
Kim Cattrall, 61
“Literally one moment you’re fine, and then another, you feel like you’re in a vat of boiling water, and you feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath you.”
The Sex and The City star continues, “What I would say, which I’ve said to myself and girlfriends who’ve also experienced hot flashes, in particular, is that change is part of being human. We evolve and should not fear that change. You’re not alone. I feel that part of living this long is experiencing this, so I’m trying to turn it into a very positive thing for myself, which it has been, in the sense of acceptance and tolerance and education about this time of life.”
She first discovered menopause as Samatha in Sex in the City, then a couple of years later after a sudden hot flush she went on a journey on how to deal with her menopausal symptoms and has become a voice for this very intimate issue.
The 61-year-old dealt with it by getting in tune with her body and encourages you to ‘see your doctor’ and a is an advocate of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement therapy.
Julie Walters, 67
“I still get hot flushes. That’s fifteen bloody years. Still, it’s nothing like I did then. Ripping off your nightie and Grant [her husband] thinking it’s something else! No – don’t get any ideas!”
Jennifer Saunders, 58
“It is fairly brutal and you go through all the accompanying side effects: hot flushes, weight gain, a sense of mourning for lost youth, sexiness and somehow the point in anything. I became depressed, which I ended up getting help with.”
Zoe Ball, 46
“I am hot and hairy. It’s like my last hurrah. Is it going to get better? Do I do HRT or do I have the funny tea supplement?”
When an audience member suggested she should have more sex to combat the symptoms, she replied: “OK, that’s a good tip. HRT and more sex. I’ll take that.”
Davina McCall, 50
After taking HRT, Davina said: “All my symptoms stopped overnight. I’m not endorsing it. It was a personal decision.’I feel, in a funny way, it’s almost more attractive that I can’t have children because now I don’t need to take contraception.”
She continued, ‘There’s a certain friskiness that comes about that. There is a confidence that comes with age.”
Davina also revealed that her early menopause symptoms gave her a similar feeling to quitting cold turkey from her heroin addiction.
Meg Mathews, 51
Meg Mathews often speaks up about the menopause and is determined to stop the stigma, with a website dedicated to speaking out about the menopause and stopping the stigma.
Speaking with Red magazine, Mathews explains, “The first thing I remember about the menopause was a sudden wave of anxiety. I knew how ‘normal’ anxiety feels, but this was very different. It seemed to cast a shadow over me. I couldn’t shake off the feeling.”
I felt completely flat and empty. Days and weeks passed and I couldn’t seem to shake the feeling; in fact, I started to feel even worse. It got to the point where my anxiety attacks became so severe that they stopped me leaving the house. The 51-year-old explains on her new website, Meg’s menopause.
Don’t Suffer In Silence
Let’s celebrate this natural stage of every woman’s life and be proud! It’s not something to be ignored or judged about, it’s a natural change that our bodies go through, don’t be ashamed – BE MENOPAUSAL AND PROUD! You are still you, and still beautiful.
Colette Harris, editor of Health Plus explains,
“Even though most women go through it between 45 and 55 you don’t see the likes of Madonna, Lulu, Kim Cattrall, Annie Lennox, Lorraine Kelly and Carol Vorderman ‘giving up’, putting on their housecoats and slippers and retiring from public life… It’s about time myths about menopause were well and truly shattered.”
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