Davina McCall has detailed her experience with menopause, in a bid to help other women. The former Big Brother host turned Masked Dancer UK judge, 54, revealed she experienced such bad brain fog that it affected her work and she thought she’d lose her job.
‘I thought I was going to have to give up my job and I love my job.’She added that she thought she was ‘going mad’. ‘I was just at a stage where I thought I really knew how to do this job and then thought ”you are going to take it off me”. Davina said that she wished she had the courage to speak to her production team about her memory loss due to menopause, but was too ‘ashamed’.
Davina recalled once being on a TV set with interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, 57, and forgetting his name due to menopausal memory loss. ‘I was with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and I couldn’t remember his name,’ she said, according to The Sun.
Now, she’s speaking out about her experience with menopause to help end the stigma and to help others. She added she found the night sweats ‘debilitating,’ but soon found relief through hormone replacement therapy or HRT. She added on Lorraine on Thursday that she felt quite lonely going through menopause but wanted to remind women they aren’t alone.
Davina explored menopause in a documentary entitled Sex, Mind and the Menopause – the follow-up to her 2021 programme Sex, Myths and the Menopause. The show further explored more of the burning issues raised in her first documentary including menopause myths and the taboo around HRT.
‘It’s so lonely [going through menopause], I thought I was disappearing and my world was getting smaller and smaller. I felt very lonely and isolated,’ she said. ‘It’s only when you come out of the grey, you think, I haven’t belly laughed for months… It can be a fantastic time in your life, of freedom. It’s just the next stage.’
It also took a deeper look at whether women are being sidelined, sacked or forced to go part-time when hit by menopause symptoms at work. Davina has vowed to ‘fight as long as she can’ for women to get Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and the correct menopause care amid a major shortage issue in the UK.
The supply crisis has seen major shortages of some HRT products, which are used by approximately 1 million women in the UK, while a new survey reveals that women have been forced to leave their jobs after reaching menopause.
Speaking to The Mirror, Davina, has not shied away from discussing the menopause extensively in the past, explained: ‘I think this is going to be my life’s work now. It’s frustrating, but it feels like we’ve gone a long way in the last year in terms of public knowledge and willingness to do something about it.’
The publication reports that she then became emotional as she continued: ‘I’ll be doing this as long as it takes, I feel like it’s really important, I think it’s the most important thing I’ll ever do.’
The mother-of-three went on to share her reaction to a new Channel 4 survey, which revealed that of the 4, 014 women polled, 14% reduced their work hours due to having menopause symptoms.
Sharing how the menopause affected her prior to getting HRT treatment, Davina admitted that it made her ‘feel invisible’ as she couldn’t speak to anyone about it, while she was ‘frightened’ as she was unsure what was happening to her. She added that once she got HRT, it felt like she was ‘being reborn’, with the star remarking that she ‘felt like I’d got myself back’.
It also revealed that 52% of women lost their confidence at work due to the menopause, while a whopping 84% felt there was no one they could turn to in their workplace to help with their issue.