'Really frightening': Davina McCall reveals perimenopause caused 'overnight' changes

Davina McCall was 44 years old when she began experiencing perimenopause symptoms. (Getty images)
Davina McCall was 44 years old when she began experiencing perimenopause symptoms. (Getty images)

Davina McCall has recalled the surprising first perimenopause symptoms she experienced from the age of 44.

The presenter, now 55 years old, revealed she'd noticed "overnight" changes to her legs and hair, as well as a "frightening" newfound forgetfulness.

Writing in The Mirror, the star explained: "I’d wake up in the middle of the night and the sheets would be soaking.

"I felt my entire body had turned into a prune. My legs were super dry when I got out of the shower. Something had changed with my hair too – and it felt like it had all happened overnight."

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McCall continued: "Then there was the forgetfulness: my phone was in the fridge, my keys ended up in the bin. This reached really frightening levels, I forgot everything. Words, names, events – everything."

There was also an impact on her confidence levels, and she noted that it was like she had "lost something of myself" and felt "more self-conscious and awkward than I normally would".

All women will experience the perimenopause, which is the start of hormonal changes that mark the end of the reproductive years.

Read more: Why we should normalise the menopause and focus on the positives, say experts

According to the NHS, it can begin in the late 30s but usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55 – and precedes the menopause.

The mother-of-three, who has become an activist for greater perimenopause and menopause awareness, noted that she wished she'd known more about which symptoms to look out for.

These include irregular periods, hot flushes, sleep problems, mood fluctuations and changes in sexual function.

Read more: Davina McCall thought her menopausal brain fog was 'some kind of dementia'

McCall added: "I wish I’d learned about it in school so I knew what was coming.

"I wish an elder stateswoman had told me about her experience so I could flag up when I was experiencing those things myself."

She revealed that she "lost time" because she wasn't aware of medications – like modern hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and modern transdermal HRT – which can help manage symptoms.