Davina McCall has revealed that starting menopause at the age of 44 left her feeling ‘washed up’ as she struggled with the initial diagnosis.
Speaking in her Channel 4 documentary Sex, Myths and Menopause, the Masked Singer judge explored the effects of the transition, in an attempt to normalise the conversation.
‘It was January 2021. I was on a photoshoot in Prague and one night struggled to get to sleep. The day after, I felt like I’d aged 10 years overnight,’ the 53-year-old revealed.
‘I got such a bad hot flush in a makeup chair one day I actually asked the makeup lady if the chair was heated and they looked at me like I was really weird.’
Even though the idea of her beginning the process of menopause did cross her mind, Davina thought she was too young, as she assumed it only happened to women in their 50s.
‘And then I got in touch with some real shame around it and I felt embarrassed. I felt quite washed up I think and unable to talk to anyone about it,’ she said.
‘First I was frustrated, then I was tearful and then I was angry.’
The former Big Brother presenter revealed that she had been advised to not talk about menopause, as it was believed to be ‘unsavoury’.
Davina wasn’t going to let public opinion stop her as she wanted to debunk the many myths and lies surrounding it.
‘When I found out I was perimenopausal I thought, “I can do this. I’ve been through a lot in my life. I’m a recovering addict, I was a heroin addict, I haven’t had a drink in 30 years”,’ she shared.
‘I don’t even like taking over the counter pills for headaches and things so I was just not going to go down the medical route.
‘I thought, I would do the exercise, a few herbal remedies, herbal teas, but none of those things cut it, so I looked for another option. I’d heard of HRT but didn’t know what it was.’
HRT, also known as hormone replacement therapy, is a treatment to relieve symptoms of menopause.
It works by replacing hormones that are at a lower level as you approach menopause and is the NHS’s recommended first-line approach to menopause. Davina is on HRT herself.
‘Two years ago I wouldn’t have told you that for starters and I lied to my friends, I told them I wasn’t on it when I was on it.’
She places a translucent patch on her hip to help with everyday signs and symptoms.
‘Making this film and talking about all of this really personal stuff on camera wasn’t easy. But I’m not going to be ashamed about a transition that half of the population goes through,’ Davina said.
‘When I hit menopause I couldn’t talk to anybody, I felt so alone, but now I feel like we’re part of a national conversation. And our voices are getting louder.’
Davina: Sex, Myths and the Menopause is on tonight at 9pm on Channel 4.
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