Menopause marks the end of menstruation and fertility. Hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats: if you haven’t been through menopause, the laundry list of symptoms can be enough to fill most females with dread at any age. Every woman eventually faces menopause—and no amount of fame can make you exempt. Discover how celebrities have experienced and tackled this transition in their own ways.
Actress Jane Seymour, who was voted one of the world’s sexiest women in her 50s by entertainment news outlet Zimbio, found a formidable foe in menopause. The yoga-practicing, disciplined dieter, familiar with grueling hours on set, decided she needed “a back-up plan.” For Jane, that was the controversial hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, stroke, and blood clots. “I concluded that because I was not at high risk of any of the diseases associated with HRT, I decided to take it — but on my terms,” she told The Daily Mail.
Established actress and outspoken comedian, we recognize Whoopi as a woman who’s not afraid to speak her mind. Even for Whoopi, menopause came as a shock. She told Contact Music, “My sex drive has totally changed. One minute I'm like, ‘Yeah! I can't wait for it.’ The next I'm saying, ‘Oh God, go away.’” However, she also found it liberating, as it pushed her to examine the negative people in her life and cut them loose.
From her Tom Cruise crush to sparring on The View, Rosie rarely keeps things inside—including her experience with menopause. Pal Madonna offered her big-sisterly advice on night sweats, hormone issues, and excessive sweating. As a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Rosie sported her “menopause haircut:” shaved at the nape of the neck, covered over with longer hair. Take that, hot flashes!
Four glamorous New York girls balanced colorful cocktails, killer shoes, and relationships in the Sex and the City TV series and movies. Even these fabulous ladies had to deal with the M-word at some point. Samantha Jones (played by Kim Cattrall), the powerful PR publicist, tackles menopause in Sex and the City 2. Armed with an arsenal of age-defying methods, Jones announces, “I am leading the way through the menopause maze with my vitamins, my melatonin sleep patches, my bio-identical estrogen cream, progesterone cream, and a touch of testosterone.”
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Susan Sarandon accepts menopause for what it is. Unlike the age-conscious Sex in the City character Samantha Jones, Sarandon believes in aging gracefully. For her, menopause (at age 54) arrived “uneventfully” — a period unmarked by major menopausal symptoms and free from creams or surgeries. In addition to good diet, exercise, and stress management, Sarandon embraced menopause by living a healthy lifestyle.
Every woman will experience menopause, but each woman is unique in how she will experience it. Some women, symptoms will be mild to moderate; for others, symptoms may seem unbearable. Fortunately, you’ve got a variety of treatment options to choose from, including lifestyle adjustments and alternative methods. Just like the celebrities we mentioned, your attitude about menopause and how it affects you will determine which approaches are best for you.