RADIO and TV presenter Zoe Hardman, 38, started going through early menopause last year.
As part of the Fabulous Menopause Matters campaign Zoe reveals her dark moments and how frightened she was.
For me, the worst thing was the fog.
I couldn’t get my words out, I was very confused and I was struggling to drive.
My headaches were horrendous and no amount of water or paracetamol made me feel any better.
My hair was breaking, my joints were aching – and then there was the lack of libido.
I’m such a physical, sexual person, and at one point I thought: “I’m never going to want to have sex ever again.”
I always knew a bit more about menopause than most people because of my family history.
My mum Carol and granny Joan had gone through it earlier than normal – Mum was 40 and Granny was 41 – but it was seeing my sister Kathryn go through it when she was 34 that really distressed me.
In July 2015 after she was diagnosed with early menopause, Kathryn said to me: “Look, they’ve told me it’s hereditary and that it will probably happen to you, too.”
I remember feeling absolutely horrendous for her, but then also thinking: “Oh my god, I haven’t had my children. When is it going to happen to me? Is it going to be too late?”
I felt really scared. I tried to freeze my eggs, but it failed as I didn’t have enough healthy eggs.
I’d just met my now-husband Dozza [Paul Doran-Jones, 36, former rugby star turned property developer], and he said: “Why don’t we just try naturally and see what happens?”
Even though we had only been together for six months, we had no doubts.
I was so lucky, as on January 1, 2016 I fell pregnant and Luna, now five, was born that September.
There were moments where it was so dark and I was like: ‘Please stick with me. I’m terrified.’ I clung on to the hope it wasn’t the menopause.
Then in April 2018, I had my son Kit, three. We were very happy.
However, even a year after Kit was born, my periods hadn’t gone back to normal – they’d appear every 25 days, then 20 days, then every fortnight.
I started getting breakout bleeds, then I wouldn’t have a period for almost two months.
And then the mood swings started – there was lots of crying, not being able to control my emotions and a real dark period of lows, which is overwhelming when you’re normally a positive and upbeat person.
It’s hard because you feel like part of you is being ripped… Brinkwire Brief News.