Holly Willoughby doesn't want to be "fearful" about the menopause

·3-min read
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images

Holly Willoughby revealed she’s going to educate herself on the menopause after a revealing chat with Lisa Snowdon on This Morning, in which Lisa described her symptoms as "debilitating".

Holly and Lisa were joined by GP and renowned menopause specialist Dr Louise Newson, who explained the physical and mental impact menopause has on women.

Holly said: "So, I am sitting here like a sponge, this is my next phase of life, this is coming to me and I want to go into this without being fearful.

"I think the best way of doing that is to listen to other women, hear the stories, educate myself and learn."

She continued: "I think this is a really important conversation that we are just going to begin today and that we are absolutely going to continue."

"Already the response to this has been huge so there are a lot of women out there that have questions… It affects half the population and not many people know enough about it."

Photo credit: ITV / This Morning
Photo credit: ITV / This Morning

Lisa, who is 50 this month, explained that her experience of menopause started when she was 42, but she didn’t realise her symptoms were part of it at first. Lisa said, "I didn't even know what the perimenopause was! I knew about the menopause – ish – but at school you learn about your periods, puberty, pregnancy, but never was perimenopause or menopause mentioned, so I was completely in the dark and I thought it would happen many, many years in the future."

"But looking back I think the first symptoms were this depression and anxiety, this feeling of being completely out of control and things I'd usually do every day, I couldn't do, it just felt very strange, I just couldn't process things."

"And then your menstrual cycle starts changing and becomes really erratic, so some months you just don't have a period and the next few months you don't stop bleeding and it's so heavy and so debilitating you cannot leave the house."

She continued: "You can't go to work for fear of just bleeding everywhere, just awful. And the pain and anxiety that goes with it... And the depression."

"I went to see a gynaecologist and it was never mentioned, 'Could you be perimenopausal?' So when I was 42 the doctor prescribed antidepressants and I took them for about six months, but I just knew it wasn't what I needed."

"And I was getting these rages out of nowhere, uncontrollable over-emotional rages and my poor partner, George, he was just like, "What is going on?'"

Lisa’s aim is to help other women recognise the symptoms in a bid to ensure other women don’t suffer as much. She continued: "I just had the thought of other women suffering and not recognising themselves, giving up work, breaking up with their partners, just not wanting to be here anymore because it is just miserable, so this is amazing what you're doing, we have to talk about this."

"You said it affects 50% of the global population the men in our lives get affected to… the younger generation need to know, men need to know, people at work need to know, it needs to be talked about it can't be taboo anymore and HRT was demonised for so long – it is safe to take."

For advice and support on the perimenopause and menopause and to learn more about HRT, visit the NHS website or speak to your GP.

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