TV presenter Cherry Healey, 41, on her fight to make menopause no longer a ‘taboo subject’
She was an advocate for women’s health and committed to playing a role in uncovering women’s most hidden health issues.
Now, in an exclusive interview with the Mail on Sunday, TV presenter Cherry Healey has opened up about her personal experience of perimenopause and her hopes for her young daughter’s generation.
“I feel like for many centuries we all got by,” she said.
“Women are very good at learning from an early age that we should expect a level of pain throughout our lives.
“So it feels like being quiet, putting your head down and carrying on.
“But the problem with that is that we don’t talk to each other anymore and we don’t know what level of pain and discomfort is normal.”
Cherry Healey (pictured) launched a national Meno-Pause & Listen Pledge to encourage people to listen and support those going through menopause
The engagement comes after Holland & Barrett revealed that one in four women say they have been ‘meno-splained’ when talking about it openly
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 really is and I’m about to be.
“I have spoken to so many women who have said they have suffered from brain fog, hair loss, discomfort and all the other symptoms. And women take care of it quietly.
“It’s so important to know what these silent symptoms are so we can have this huge, important conversation about what’s going on inside our amazing bodies.”
WHAT IS MENOPAUSE?
Menopause is defined as the changes a woman goes through just before and after her period stops and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.
Some women go through this period with few or no symptoms, around 60% have symptoms leading to behavioral changes and one in four will experience severe pain.
Common symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness leading to discomfort during sex, disturbed sleep, decreased libido, memory and concentration problems, and mood swings.
Menopause occurs when your ovaries stop producing as much estrogen hormone and no longer release an egg each month.
In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach menopause is 51, according to the NHS.
Last year, Cherry was diagnosed as being in perimenopause, which is when the body makes the natural transition to menopause.
“I just started going through perimenopause and didn’t know it until I spoke to a doctor,” she said.
“I used to be a very good sleeper and sleep was never a problem for me. But a year ago I had this brand new thing where I was waking up and questioning what I was doing with my life and had terrible anxiety that it would keep me awake.
“It would sometimes make me want to vomit.”
Cherry has partnered with Holland & Barrett to help launch their Pause & Listen Pledge where over 4,000 colleagues will be trained to help clients through menopause.
Cherry said: “The conversation around menopause is going to change women’s lives.
“A lot of us feel like we don’t want to bother the GP, if there’s just one episode of brain fog or one hot flash it doesn’t seem serious enough to make an appointment. you.
“That’s why we need accessible resources and experts on our main streets who we can talk to.
“I hope that when my 12 year old daughter turns 18, menopause will no longer be a taboo subject.
“Let her feel educated and knowledgeable and not be nervous and know that this is a stage of life.
“I want my daughter’s generation to know all the symptoms and know they can go to a street shop, get help and talk about it.”
Cherry has partnered with Holland & Barrett to help launch their Pause & Listen commitment where more than 4,000 colleagues will be trained to help clients through menopause
Menopause Advice Rooms will come to Holland & Barrett stores on UK high streets from TODAY
Menopause counseling rooms are hitting high streets across the UK from today, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
In a bid to get women talking about their symptoms and seeking help, Holland & Barrett are training thousands of staff and opening consultation rooms in hundreds of stores across the UK.
Recent research by the retailer found nearly two-thirds of women say they don’t talk about menopause, with 61% citing fear of being “judged” and treated differently as the reason.
And one in three said they felt a negative reaction, such as ending the conversation, when they spoke about what they were going through and how they were feeling.
Holland & Barrett now trains over 4,000 employees in UK stores to recognize symptoms, be able to advise on lifestyle and diet options and understand the different phases of the menopause cycle.
Holland & Barrett trains thousands of staff and opens consultation rooms in hundreds of stores across the UK
Recent research by the retailer found nearly two-thirds of women say they don’t talk about menopause
Store managers will also receive training on prevention and the role of hormones in menopause.
18 other dedicated menopause counseling rooms across the country will also be open and provide a private space to speak with a trained menopause counselor.
A new day and night range of peri and menopause supplements is also being launched to offer women alternatives to HRT – the most common treatment for relieving menopausal symptoms.
During the trial, the women showed significant improvements in feelings of depression, patience and exhaustion. Vasomotor symptoms were also measured and there was a 67% reduction in hot flashes over the 12 weeks.
Fiona Sweny, chief scientific officer of Wellness Futures at Holland & Barrett, said: ‘Real progress has been made in recent years in bringing menopause to the forefront of the conversation, thanks to the many high profile women who have spoken openly about their media experiences.
“However, even though awareness has improved, there is still a lot to be done to help women feel heard.
“We know that everyone’s journey is different and while we don’t claim to know what an individual’s experience is like, we can promise to be here to listen, support and offer advice and invite others to join in. join us in this promise.”