Davina McCall discovers the shocking truth about how the menopause is neglected in UK medicine

Davina became perimenopausal at the age of 44

davina mccall
(Image credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Davina McCall’s new documentary, Davina McCall: Sex, Myths, and The Menopause, explores the truth about how unresearched the menopause is in the UK.

Davina McCall has opened up about her personal experience with the menopause in an eye-opening documentary that attempts to break down the taboo that still surrounds women’s health issues. 

In the documentary Davina spoke openly about her menopause as she revealed that she became perimenopausal at the age of 44. She revealed, “'It was January 2021. I was on a photoshoot in Prague and one night struggled to get to sleep. The day after, I felt like I'd aged 10 years overnight.”

More from woman&home:
What causes night sweats and how to get some relief
Menopause magnets—what are they and do they really help?
Causes of hot flushes that have nothing to do with the menopause

“I had such a bad hot flush in the make-up chair one day that I actually asked the make-up girl if the chair was heated. It did cross my mind that it could be the menopause, but I thought, ‘I’m too young... that happens to women in their fifties’. I felt embarrassed. I felt washed up and unable to talk to anyone about it. [It] hit me hard and I really struggled to cope,” she said.

Davina then revealed, “I got in touch with some real shame around it and I felt embarrassed. I felt quite washed up I think and unable to talk to anyone about it.” It is this feeling of shame that encouraged Davina to explore the taboo around this subject in her documentary. She also wanted to understand why the medical knowledge about menopause seems to be lacking. 

In the documentary, Davina speaks to Dr Nighat Arif. The doctor revealed, “We are all taught about abdominal medicine, cardiology, etc. But when it comes to women’s health and the menopause, I do feel like we are still lacking.” 

Dr. Arif revealed that doctors are only required to take a short online module about the menopause as part of their training. She said, “Menopause is a module – an e-module that you can do, and it’s very quick to do. We have to change that for the future women of this nation.”

Viewers were shocked by this documentary and many took to social media to share their thoughts. One fan said, “I thought Davina McCall's documentary about the menopause was seriously excellent and extremely necessary. I cannot get over that for trainee doctors, the menopause is covered by a VOLUNTARY E-MODULE.”

Another fan said, “When half the global population will experience the menopause at some point, how is it still a taboo subject?! I may not be there yet but I will be. Davina's documentary and associated media is essential. #davinamenopause.“

This episode is a one-off documentary and is available to view in full on Channel 4 on demand.