The menopause is getting a lot of well-deserved airtime recently, educating women on what to expect and providing the comforting revelation that they’re not alone and aren’t going mad!
Shows like Lorraine and Loose Women are helping to break the menopause taboo as they encourage celebs to open up about their hot, hairy and mad experiences.
Here are the all the celebs from the last week who held nothing back as they opened up about their experiences with the menopause.
The 63-year-old comedian realised she was menopausal when she broke down and started crying in the supermarket for no reason.
“When it’s down and dark, small things become ridiculous, when you don’t find joy in life, it’s probably when you are in the menopause or you may be seriously depressed for other reasons, it’s tiring and worrisome to be seen as old, odd or cranky and not fitting into society. Facing the fact that you no longer can have children is sad. The way forward is to realise it is a phase, unavoidable and to share it is incredibly empowering.”
— Helen Lederer (@HelenLederer) November 9, 2017
Sawalha was inn a terrible state and thought she was dying!
“Since my menopause, I wake up in the morning and it’s a bit like there’s a tonne of bricks on my shoulders, I am in a terrible mood, flooding with blood, yet at no point did the menopause come into my head. People get quite offended by the menopause, but when it’s happening to us, I can’t tell you how offensive it is!”
“I felt like the stuffing had been knocked out of me, it’s synonymous with getting old, and especially working in television it’s about looking good and it’s associated with youth. I felt like I’d aged ten years! My skin looked drier, I looked a bit more worn out. The more high profile women on TV talk about this, then the better it is so when it’s out there we can just deal with it – it’s a normal part of life.”
In a world where the word ‘inspirational’ is rather overused, I met two women last night who embody it. Dany Cotton, the first female Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade and Cressida Dick, the first female Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Now THAT is what I call #girlpower #metpolice @londonfirebrigade @loosewomen
“It’s the random chin hairs and insomnia. There’s a menopausal monster, you’re like Jekyll and Hyde, one minute your fine, your body is at the right temperature, then this rage rises up and something will snap! If you’ve had children and you know how much joy that will give you and to not be able to do that again it’s a hard thing to face.”
“Everything goes wrong, you feel less sexy, you ache, you sweat! It’s all the stuff that’s connected with a loss of fertility. It’s a massive physical change in our bodies and like most physical changes we need the best assistance and help that we can and we should be able to get it. It’s like all the worst bits about getting older with all the physical symptoms as well. That loss of fertility that the menopause spells out was heartbreaking to me, it felt like the hardest, saddest thing, the beginning of the end.”
Meg Matthews also shared her menopause experience on Loose Women, stating that she has personally suffered a total of 32 out of some 34 possible symptoms. Meg told the panel that she’d had such severe symptoms that doctors thought she was pregnant before prescribing her with anti-depressants, she then went on to discuss how the menopause had caused her libido to flag and left her “dry” in “places you don’t want” – and revealed she’d turned to masturbation to solve the problem, which she said, “puts a spring in your step”.
Lorraine Kelly and Dr Hilary Jones
Lorraine and Dr Hilary Jones discussed how refreshing it was to hear the honest views of these well-known women, in a way that destroys all the stigma. Lorraine commented it was interesting to hear them talk about not feeling yourself and feeling flat, experiencing no “joy”. People often comment that they want to be themselves again and not have this crushing fatigue, overwhelming sadness, feelings of inadequacy, but whilst it’s easy to list the negative symptoms, you can do something about them.
“What a lot of people don’t realise is that oestrogen doesn’t just work on the breast tissue or the uterus tissue, it works on the brain as well, there are receptors that respond to oestrogen within the brain, when oestrogen is switched off concentration and memory suffers, we suffer mood swings, depression, fatigue so it is important to get the balance back from oestrogen, for people unable to take HRT there are alternatives that can really help.”
“GP’s are swamped with their work and sometimes they don’t know enough about the menopause, it is a specialist subject. Sadly women are being dismissed or being given anti-depressants, there needs to be a better knowledge, although there are menopause clinics that specialise and women are within their rights to request a referral or a hormone specialist. A way of determining your menopausal status is a blood test. Due to the squeeze on NHS resources women are often told “no you don’t need a blood test” and given anti-depressants or HRT, but this is guesswork and although it is true that menopausal women are 3 times more likely to suffer from clinical depression than non-menopausal women so sometimes the boundaries are blurred and although you can treat depression, sometimes all that is needed is HRT. ”
“It is about a specialists knowledge, no-one should suffer in silence, some women get suicidal, their memory and concentration go, they stop looking after themselves, you need to be assertive and go and speak to a GP or specialist.”