Lorraine opens up about her menopause struggle: “There was no joy in my life”
On this morning’s show, we turned the tables on Lorraine for the very first time as she sat on the other side of the sofa and opened up to Dr Hilary about her struggle with menopause.
Talking about when she first experienced symptoms, Lorraine explained to Dr Hilary, “It must have been about five years ago, I remember talking to you about it and I remember thinking to myself, ‘I cannot be here talking to Hugh Jackman all sweaty and hot’.
“I was getting a little but narky, I think it’s safe to say. I was just not feeling myself.”
Dr Hilary prescribed Lorraine HRT which initially controlled her symptoms really well, however last year something changed.
“Steve and I had gone away to Spain for the weekend, and it was the most beautiful day. Everything was fantastic. Rosie was sailing through her exams at university, life was really good, I loved my job, all of that, and there was no joy in my life. I felt absolutely down, and I couldn’t put my finger on it.”
After questioning whether her symptoms were actually those of depression, Dr Hilary altered Lorraine’s HRT dosage to see if it would help.
“It was remarkable and it kicked in very quickly,” Lorraine recalled, “I just got my equilibrium back. I just felt all of a sudden like I was lighter, I felt better in myself.
“It was almost like coming out of a tunnel into the light. All we had to do was change the dosage.”
“You need to make adjustments because every woman is unique and different in regards to the menopause,” Dr Hilary added.
What I hope happens is that we all just talk about it a little bit more
– Lorraine opens up about the menopause and her personal struggle
Lorraine also highlighted the importance of talking about menopause with those around you. “What I hope happens is that we all just talk about it a little bit more.”
“Talk about it and make sure you talk about it with your husband or partner. Talk about it with your mother or your big sister. Make sure you have that conversation.”
HRT isn’t for everybody. Everybody’s different. One size doesn’t fit all. But make sure, for goodness sake, that you don’t just sit there suffering in silence.”
In an exclusive Lorraine survey, 58% of the women we spoke to said they felt too embarrassed to discuss menopause, while half said they weren’t able to cope with it.
We’ll be tackling the all too taboo subject this autumn in our new series The M Word, where we’ll be busting the myths surrounding menopause, and encouraging women to talk to their mothers about the experiences they had.
"There is definitely a genetic link between the age a mum and daughter experience the menopause,” Dr Hilary explained, “Yet parents will more readily discuss sex and periods with their daughters than the menopause. This is likely because periods are more urgent and happen suddenly, whereas the menopause can take several years and can drift by.
"The menopause will affect all women at some point, yet it's still unfortunately a great taboo. We need to share our experiences to help one another.”
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