Halle Berry Is Advocating For Women’s Health After Her Doctor Mistook Perimenopause For Herpes

Halle Berry Is Advocating For Women's Health After Her Doctor Mistook Perimenopause For Herpes
ABOVE: Halle Berry at Propper Daley's fourth "A Day of Unreasonable Conversation" summit (photo: instagram.com/halleberry)

Halle Berry is using her platform to educate people on the reality of perimenopause. For those who don’t know, perimenopause refers to the time that the body naturally transitions into menopause, which marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years.

This week, Halle sat down with First Lady Jill Biden at the fourth annual “A Day of Unreasonable Conversation” event in Los Angeles, where she opened up and had a candid conversation about menopause and women’s health. The 57-year-old shared that she learned she was perimenopause after her doctor mistook her symptoms for herpes.

Halle began by admitting that she believed she was going to “skip” menopause due to her “ego.” She said, “I’m in great shape. I’m healthy. I managed to get myself off of insulin and manage my diabetes since I’m 20 years old. So that makes one think, oh, I can handle menopause. I’m going to skip that whole thing.”

“You don’t skip it,” she clarified, before adding, “But I was so [uneducated] at that time. I wish I knew then what I know now.”

Berry explained that when she was 54 she met the “man of my dreams” and started dating Grammy-winning musician Van Hunt. Sharing details about her sex life, the Oscar winner recalled having extreme pain after intercourse one day so she immediately visited her doctor.

“I feel like I have razor blades in my vagina. I run to my gynecologist and I say, ‘Oh my God, what’s happening?’ It was terrible,” she recalled, teasing that she has “no shame” sharing her story because it can help other women. “He said, ‘You have the worst case of herpes I’ve ever seen.’ I’m like, ‘Herpes? I don’t have herpes!’”

Berry said she immediately confronted Hunt about it. However, the couple later both tested negative for the sexually transmitted disease (STD).

“I realize after the fact, that is a symptom of perimenopause,” the actress said, noting that dryness is a symptom of the transitional period. “My doctor had no knowledge and didn’t prepare me. That’s when I knew, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve got to use my platform. I have to use all of who I am, and I have to start making a change and a difference for other women.”

Halle told the crowd that she was shameless in sharing her story because it was something she felt could help women. And she’s right. Discussing taboo topics like STIs (even when misled), symptoms of perimenopause which can include vaginal dryness, and even her own lack of education about menopause adds a lot of visibility and education value for the inevitable stage in life for a lot of women.

Berry ended the conversation asking the audience to “help us change the way culture views women at this stage of our life.”

This isn’t the first time Halle has been candid about her experience with menopause. Last summer, she spoke to Women’s Health about being “smack dab in the middle of menopause”, saying:

“I am challenging everything I thought I knew about menopause. Things like: ‘Your life is over.’ ‘You are disposable.’ ‘Society no longer has a place for you.’ ‘You should retire.’ ‘You should pack it up.’”

Tags: Halle Berry, Herpes, Perimenopause, top story, topstory

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