TV presenter Cherry Healey, 41, on her fight to stop menopause being a ‘taboo subject’ 


She has been an advocate for women’s health and has vowed to play a part in uncovering women’s most hidden away health issues.

Now, in an exclusive interview with the Mail on Sunday, TV presenter Cherry Healey has opened up about her personal experience on being perimenopausal and her hopes for her young daughter’s generation.

‘I feel like for many centuries we have all just got on with things,’ she said.

‘Women are very good at learning from a young age that we’re to expect a level of pain throughout our life.

‘So there’s a sense of being quiet, getting our heads down and carrying on.

‘But the problem with that is that we then don’t talk to each other, and we don’t know what level of pain and discomfort is normal.’

Cherry Healey (pictured) has launched a national Meno-Pause & Listen Pledge to encourage people to listen and support those experiencing menopause

The pledge comes after Holland & Barrett revealed one in four women say they have ben 'meno-splained' when they did talk openly about it

The pledge comes after Holland & Barrett revealed one in four women say they have ben ‘meno-splained’ when they did talk openly about it

In January Cherry launched a series with Channel 5, Women’s Health Uncovered, which explored the ‘secrets and taboos’ surrounding women’s health.

She told the MoS: ‘I have to say, until last year I didn’t really know what menopause actually is and I am on the cusp of it.

‘I have spoken to so many women who said they had experienced brain fog, hair loss, discomfort and all other symptoms. And women are dealing with these quietly.

‘It’s so important to know what those silent symptoms are so that we can have this enormous, important conversation about what is going on inside our incredible bodies.’

WHAT IS THE MENOPAUSE?

Menopause is defined as the changes a woman goes through just before and after she stops her periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally. 

Some women go through this time with few, if any, symptoms, around 60 percent experience symptoms resulting in behavioral changes and one in four will suffer severely. 

Common symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness leading to discomfort during sex, disrupted sleep, decreased sex drive, problems with memory and concentration and mood swings.

Menopause happens when your ovaries stop producing as much of the hormone oestrogen and no longer release an egg each month.

In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51, according to the NHS.

Last year Cherry was diagnosed as perimenopausal, which is when the body makes the natural transition to menopause.

‘I have just started to experience perimenopause and I didn’t know until I spoke to a doctor,’ she said.

‘I used to be a very good sleeper and sleep has never been a problem for me. But a year ago I got this brand-new thing where I would wake up and question what I was doing with my life and would get awful anxiety that it would stop me from sleeping.

‘It would make me want to throw up sometimes.’

Cherry has partnered with Holland & Barrett to help launch their Pause & Listen Pledge where over 4,000 colleagues are going to be trained in helping customers on menopause.

Cherry said: ‘The conversation around menopause will change women’s lives.

‘A lot of us feel as though we don’t want to bother the GP, if there is just an episode of brain fog or a single hot flush, it doesn’t feel serious enough to book an appointment.

‘Which is why we need accessible resources and experts on our high streets that we can speak to.

‘I hope by the time my 12-year-old daughter is 18, menopause is no longer a taboo subject.

‘That she feels educated and knowledgeable and to not be nervous of it and to know it’s a stage of life.

‘I want my daughter’s generation to be versed on what all the symptoms are and know they can go into a high-street store, get help and talk about it.’

Cherry has partnered with Holland & Barrett to help launch their Pause & Listen Pledge where over 4,000 colleagues are going to be trained in helping customers on menopause

Cherry has partnered with Holland & Barrett to help launch their Pause & Listen Pledge where over 4,000 colleagues are going to be trained in helping customers on menopause

Menopause advice rooms will come to Holland & Barrett stores on high streets across the UK from TODAY

Menopause advice rooms are coming to high streets across the UK as of today, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

In a bid to get women speaking about their symptoms and seeking help, Holland & Barrett are training up thousands of staff and opening consultation rooms in hundreds of stores across the UK.

Recent research conducted by the retailer revealed almost two thirds of women say they do not talk about the menopause, with 61 per cent citing the fear of being ‘judged’ and treated differently as the reason.

And one in three said they have experienced a negative reaction, such as shutting the conversation down, when they had spoken about what they were going through and how they were feeling.

Holland & Barrett are now training over 4,000 staff across UK stores to recognise symptoms, be able to advise on lifestyle and diet options and understand the different phases of the menopause cycle.

Holland & Barrett is training up thousands of staff and opening consultation rooms in hundreds of stores across the UK

Holland & Barrett is training up thousands of staff and opening consultation rooms in hundreds of stores across the UK

Recent research conducted by the retailer revealed almost two thirds of women say they do not talk about the menopause

Recent research conducted by the retailer revealed almost two thirds of women say they do not talk about the menopause

Store managers are also going to receive training in prevention and the roles of hormones within menopause.

A further 18 dedicated menopause consultation rooms up and down the country will also be opened and will offer a private space to speak with a qualified menopause adviser.

A new range day and night range of peri and menopause supplements are also launching to offer women alternatives to HRT – the most common treatment to relieve symptoms of the menopause.

During the trial, women showed significant improvements in feeling low, patience and feeling worn out. Vasomotor symptoms were also measured and there was a 67 per cent reduction in hot flushes over the 12 weeks.

Fiona Sweny, Wellness Futures Science Lead at Holland & Barrett said: ‘There has been real progress made in recent years to bring the menopause to the forefront of the conversation, thanks to the many high-profile women who have been openly speaking about their experiences in the media.

‘However, while awareness has improved, there is still a big job to be done in helping women feel heard.

‘We know everyone’s journey is different and while we won’t pretend to know how an individual’s experience feels, we can promise to be there to listen, support, and offer guidance and invite others to join us in this promise.’



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