Davina McCall urges menopausal women not to 'soldier on' amid 'unacceptable' HRT shortage

DAVINA McCall has urged menopausal women not to simply "soldier on" if they are struggling.

The beloved TV star, and menopause campaigner, spoke out ahead of her new show on the "change" this evening.

Airing on Channel 4, Sex, Mind and the Menopause delves into how it can affect the mind as well as the body.

The presenter reveals the menopause can have such a profound impact on women's mental health, memory and concentration, it can leave jobs at risk.

It comes after an HRT – hormone replacement therapy – shortage has hit the country.

Women are struggling to get hold of the crucial treatment they need to cope with debilitating menopause symptoms.

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Some saying they are on the brink of quitting work and others feeling suicidal.

More than a million women in the UK are now estimated to take hormone replacement therapy — doubling in recent years.

It eases symptoms of menopause including brain fog, low sex drive and hot flushes.

But medics have warned of shortages that could last well into the summer.

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Davina said of the medication, and lack of knowledge about it until recently: "In this country this idea of just soldiering on, I hear so many women say they’ll soldier on for a few more years because that’s what we do, it’s what we’ve been taught to do.

"It’s what we’ve been brought up to do as women – we’re strong, do it without pain relief – it’s like, god, no!

"Don’t just crack on, why?

"We’re embarrassed because we think people think we want to be younger, you’re not taking it as some kind of youth serum, you’re taking it to stay normal."

The Sun’s Fabulous Menopause Matters campaign has been highlighting the importance of HRT.

Davina said she wished she had known of the treatment earlier, adding: “It would have been life changing.

"I wouldn’t have struggled on for three years feeling lost, lonely and scared.”

"We don’t know what’s behind the HRT shortage but I do know that Sajid Javid is going to meet up with the makers of HRT to try and see what is behind the shortages.

"I don’t know what’s behind that, but I mean this idea of blaming women drives me absolutely mad. Oh, more women are asking for it? Well, you knew that was coming.

"There’s been a gradual growth, you can easily plan production for that.

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"So it’s unacceptable, HRT shortages are unacceptable and let’s hope it gets sorted very soon."

A survey for the show found around 333,000 menopausal women left jobs — one in ten.

Some 14 per cent, nearly half a million, cut their hours while eight per cent did not go for promotion.

  • Davina McCall: Sex, Mind and the Menopause is on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm

What is the menopause and what age does it usually start?

Menopause is a natural part of ageing, which usually happens when a woman is between the age of 45 and 55.

In the UK, the average age for a woman to go through menopause is 51.

It occurs when oestrogen levels in the body start to decline.

During this time periods become less frequent or they can suddenly stop, and after menopause occurs women will be unable to become pregnant naturally.

Around one in 100 women experience menopause before the age of 40, and this is known as premature ovarian insufficiency or premature menopause.

Many celebrities have spoken out about their own experiences, including Lisa Snowdon, Davina McCall, Michelle Heaton and Zoe Hardman. 

What are the symptoms?

Menopausal symptoms can start months or years before your periods stop, and can last until four years or longer after your last period.

Symptoms include:

  • Hot flushes
  • Changing or irregular periods
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Anxiety and loss of confidence
  • Low mood, irritability and depression
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness or discomfort during sex
  • Reduced libido (sex drive)
  • Problems with concentration or memory
  • Weight gain
  • Bladder control

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