Davina McCall wants perimenopause to be taught in schools

The candid TV host urges schools to teach students about the perimenopause

Davina McCall
(Image credit: Gareth Cattermole )

Davina McCall has called for the perimenopause to be taught in schools, after her own difficult experience with the condition. 

The 53-year-old TV host criticized society’s failure to adequately educate children on the transition period to menopause and to dispel the ignorance surrounding it. 

“Nobody talks about it, and I just think it should be talked about more generally and taught in schools,” she told OK! Magazine. 

McCall reflected on her confusion when she was first diagnosed. “I didn’t know and I was 44 when I started getting symptoms,” she said. 

The bodily fluctuations left her baffled, as she was still menstruating. 

“I was having periods but they were just a little bit different. So I thought I’m still having periods, I’m not menopausal. I didn’t understand what the perimenopause was.”

McCall revealed on Loose Women last year that she didn’t know the change could start in the early 40s.

"The symptoms were few and far between. My periods were regular, but sometimes they were a bit longer, sometimes a bit shorter. I didn't think I could have it so early... but actually, it's the perimenopause."

The experience took a major toll on her wellbeing, playing havoc with both her personal and work life. 

"I'm not a shouty mother at all and then I'd end up crying in the car, apologizing to the children, going, 'I'm really sorry, I don't know what's wrong with me.'"  

The former Big Brother host, who was used to extreme work pressure, was suddenly struggling to perform basic tasks. “I couldn’t read autocue. My eyesight went funny and I was messing up on words all the time,” she recalled during a four-way virtual chat on World Menopause Day. 

McCall believes that her experience would have been made easier if there was a more widespread understanding of the condition, which would prepare women and their families for the challenges of perimenopause. 

She hopes that by talking about it more openly, she can help others to address their symptoms head-on and to raise overall awareness of the condition.