Davina McCall says menopause symptoms felt similar to ‘recovery from addiction’

Davina McCall shares her morning HRT routine

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Davina, 53, has revealed that as she started the menopause, it brought back memories of her days fighting addiction. The former Big Brother presenter has previously spoken of her drug addiction, which saw her take heroin during her 20s.

I’m a recovering addict and it really took me back to being sick and trying to recover from addiction.

Davina McCall

Previously, the television presenter has said “it’s a miracle” that she survived after taking various drugs including heroin, cocaine and ecstasy.

She said she failed to believe that she was addicted to illegal substances after a close friend told her “everybody talks about you”.

Now, the Wimbledon born star has revealed that her symptoms while going through the menopause took her back to her days fighting addiction.

Symptoms of fighting addiction, commonly known as ‘Cold Turkey’, include sweating, difficulty sleeping, shaking, fatigue and nausea.

Davina has now said that she experienced the same symptoms during the perimenopause.

Using her platform to raise awareness of the menopause, Davina has partnered with Channel 4 for a new documentary, Davina McCall: Sex, Myths And The Menopause, discussing the lack of information around the condition.

Speaking of her experience, Davina said: “I had a tough experience when I got to perimenopause at 44 and I really didn’t know who to talk to or where to go.”

Davina added: “[The] really horrible thing for me about getting night sweats was I’m a recovering addict and it really took me back to being sick and trying to recover from addiction.”

Detailing her ordeal further, the mum-of-three continued: “I was waking up with just a pool of water here. And it wasn’t all the time, it was maybe two or three times a month…

“I wasn’t sleeping and when you don’t sleep for night upon night upon night, [is there something missing here?]

“I’d be waking up two or three times a night, mainly to wee. I don’t know what was going on with my bladder.”

However, Davina initially dismissed her symptoms, believing she was too young to start the menopause aged 44.

“I just then started the fog and I just thought I was going mad, I either thought I was possibly getting dementia, some kind of early-onset dementia.

“The menopause did not even cross my mind because I was young, 44, and I just thought that’s too young.”

After “battling on” for a year, Davina later went on to develop symptoms including fatigue, memory fog and anxiety.

As her symptoms worsened, she noted that her period was getting “very, very long”, adding it was “very light but very long,” before she realised that something was different to what she was used to.

Davina’s symptoms soon began affecting her work as she struggled to read scripts and television autocues.

“A producer who’s now quite high up at ITV in fact, she came up to me and she said, ‘Are you OK?’. Because I was normally so on it.

“And I just couldn’t get on it anymore. I just thought, ‘Oh God, I am in a fog’.”

Now, after being prescribed HRT by a private gynaecologist, Davina feels “better” than she has done in several years.

“I am working hard, I’m at the top of my game and feel like I’ve been reborn,” she said.

Davina McCall: Sex, Myths And The Menopause airs on Channel 4 on Wednesday May 12.

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Narcotics Anonymous for free support on 0300 999 1212 or visit their website, here.

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