‘I looked like a different person’ Louise Minchin on ‘physical impact’ of menopause

Louise Minchin discusses her experiences with menopause

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The former BBC Breakfast anchor returned to the show this morning [Wednesday, April 27] to discuss the current shortages of HRT that has affected thousands of women around the country. As part of her appearance, Minchin, 53, spoke about the difficulties she faced as she went through “the change”. She said: “I am like very many other women. It has a very real impact. For me it had a physical impact, I had heart palpitations, I had tinnitus, all sorts of things.”

Revealing that she “felt nervous” sharing her memories of menopause so openly, Minchin continued to say: “I remember the brain fog is very real.”

The journalist then went on to recall one specific incident where her menopause symptoms affected her on live TV.

“I never shared this at the time,” Minchin added: “I remember interviewing the then Chancellor George Osbourne, and he was outside a JCB factory, so it was a very important interview.

“And I couldn’t say the letters JCB. I came off air thinking ‘what is going on!?’.”

Since then, Minchin has started hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which aims to relieve the vaious symptoms of menopause that women can suffer from.

These symptoms can vary from physical, to mental and mainly include the following:

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Low mood or anxiety
  • Reduced sex drive (libido)
  • Problems with memory and concentration.

These symptoms can begin months or sometimes even years before an individual stops getting monthly periods, and then for around four years after. In addition, although the average age for women to enter the menopause stands at 45 and 55, for around one in 100 women, menopause can be experienced before 40 years of age.

Adressing the BBC campaign “Wake Up to the Menopause,” which started back in 2019, Minchin said that she “learnt so much,” as she was able to understand more about her own symptoms.

She added: “I was different then, I wasn’t on HRT at the time and I look back on the film that I did, and I kind of feel sorry for that Louise.

“It looks to me like a different person because I was so anxious, I was so shaken up. It has a really huge impact.”

Minchin’s appearance on the breakfast show was sparked by the current shortage of some HRT products, which are used by around one million women in the UK.

In light of this, some women have turned to the “black market” or are meeting up with other women in order to exchange and share medicines.

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