Times are a changing. Now, celebrities are speaking up to change the conversation around the menopause into something that’s less frightening and secretive into something that's more open and understood among all women.
Because there's nothing more scary than not understanding what's going on with your own mind and body!
1. First there was Meg Matthews
When former music PR and ex-wife of singer Noel Gallagher first experienced symptoms of the menopause in her early 40s, she thought she had glandular fever.
“I told everyone I had glandular fever. I didn’t leave the house for three months. I was so flat, I was riddled with nausea, my breasts hurt. I didn’t have hot flushes or any of the other things you are told are symptoms of the menopause. I had all the things that are lesser known. My joints were so inflamed; I used to be able to get up and do a downward dog but I was walking to the bathroom like an old lady. It was taking my body a lot longer to wake up."
"It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go through the menopause, I just didn’t know what was happening,” she told website getthegloss.
Meg is now a health advocate for women going through the menopause and perimenopause, and her website MegsMenopause contains lots of information, advice and treatment options.
2. Ulrika Johnson
The UK TV star recently wrote a blistering account of her menopause in The Daily Mail that went viral and attracted thousands of comments from women all over the world thanking her for speaking up. She talked about the brain fog she got at 46 that made her think she was developing dementia and her menopausal symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, inexplicable weight gain and ‘discomfort in the nether regions’ – that she says lead to the breakdown of her marriage.
3. Cynthia Nixon
Thankfully, not all accounts of going through menopause are negative. Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon revealed to Stellar magazine that she and her wife, education activist Christine Marinoni, were going through the menopause together and that she welcomed the change.
“There has been no sadness for me, because once you hit 50, you’re done,’ she explains with a brisk clap of her hands. "So although I have a five-year-old, the freedom that comes from no longer being fertile is huge."
4. Gillian Anderson
The X-files and The Fall actress found herself with the peri menopause (the transition to the menopause) at age 46. “I felt like my life was falling apart around me that I started to ask what could be going on internally, and friends suggested it might be hormonal,” Anderson, 48, recalls in an interview for Lenny Letter.
“Perimenopause, as I understand it, is a period of time that can last anywhere from a few years to even a decade before one's period actually stops, before one actually goes into menopause proper. What happens is, over time our levels of estrogen start to deplete, and as a result we develop symptoms like anxiety, depression, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, and find it harder and harder to cope with the normal routines of our lives.”
Anderson says the lack of clear information is one of the biggest problems surrounding peri-menopause and the mental health symptoms that follow.
5. Gwyneth Paltrow
Although the average age of menopause is 51, it’s not at all uncommon to get it sooner. GP got hers at age 46 and while she looks youthful for her age, she revealed she has been secretly suffering from sweats, hormonal changes and mood swings associated with the menopause.
She said society needs to change how it views the process, adding: "Menopause gets a really bad rap and needs a bit of rebranding. I remember when my mother went through menopause and it was such a big deal and I think there was grief around it for her and all these emotions."
"I don’t think we have in society a great example of an aspirational menopausal woman."
Watch her space at Goop for more.