‘I was in the darkest time of my life’: Shirley Ballas reveals going through menopause was ‘very difficult’ as she fronts a new campaign for QVC
Shirley Ballas has spoken candidly about her menopausal journey while fronting a new campaign for QVC for World Menopause Month.
The professional dancer turned Strictly Come Dancing judge, 62, revealed for QVC’s Menopause Your Way that she went through the ‘darkest time in her life’ thanks to the condition.
Shirley said she felt like she had ‘no support’ during the process, which is a natural part of ageing, and said she’s speaking out to help end the stigma.
‘I was in the darkest time of my life’: Shirley Ballas revealed this week that going through menopause was ‘very difficult’ while fronting a new campaign for QVC
‘To be honest, I never thought about menopause. It just throws you out of sync. But it’s not just a list of symptoms… I just didn’t have any support,’ Shirley said in one clip for the campaign.
‘My son could see that I was in just the darkest time of my life. He was the first person actually who had sat down and said, ”Tell me what’s going on” and, I have to say, that was life changing.’
She added that she wanted to share her journey to help others, as the subject is ‘taboo’.
Helping others: Shirley said she felt like she had ‘no support’ during the process, which is a natural part of ageing, and said she’s speaking out to help end the stigma
Shirley added that her experience with menopause will ‘stay with her for the rest of her life’.
‘My experience going through the menopause was an emotional one and something that will stay with me for the rest of my life – it was a very difficult time,’ she explained.
‘I couldn’t control my body; it was controlling me. It’s such a huge milestone and yet, it’s talked about so little.’
According to Hello Magazine, Shirley started going through menopause 15 years ago at age of 47.
‘My son could see that I was in just the darkest time of my life. He was the first person actually who had sat down and said, ”Tell me what’s going on” and, I have to say, that was life changing’
‘From night sweats to day sweats, to dry skin, nails and hair, I felt moody and completely off,’ she told the publication this week.
‘I didn’t know it was menopause. I just thought maybe it could be the flu – to be honest, I didn’t know what age to expect the menopause, nobody talked about it. I felt totally ill-prepared,’ she added.
It comes just months after she had a health scare and had to undergo a series of tests on all of her organs after fans spotted a lump in her armpit last year.
Health scare: It comes just months after she had a health scare and had to undergo a series of tests on all of her organs after fans spotted a lump in her armpit last year
Medical tests also revealed a shadow on her kidney, but the doctor gave her the all clear.
Speaking to Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid about her recent health journey during an appearance on Good Morning Britain in November, Shirley told how she initially ignored fans comments about her alarm, but sought help from her GP after more concerned messages came flooding in.
She said: ‘It’s been the last two weeks – it has been like a whirlwind with everything else I’ve been doing.
‘I was doing a Paso Doble move, put up my right arm and a couple of people got in touch and I kind of ignored and then there was about 11 people getting in touch so I thought, no I better go to the doctor.’
What is menopause?
Menopause is defined as the changes a woman goes through just before and after she stops her periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.
Some women go through this time with few, if any, symptoms, around 60 percent experience symptoms resulting in behavioral changes and one in four will suffer severely.
Common symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness leading to discomfort during sex, disrupted sleep, decreased sex drive, problems with memory and concentration and mood swings.
Menopause happens when your ovaries stop producing as much of the hormone estrogen and no longer release an egg each month.
American experts say women go through the menopause at the age of 51 years on average, although it can begin when someone is anywhere between 40 and 58 years old.