As Newshub’s entertainment editor, Kate Rodger is used to seeing her email inbox rapidly fill with messages after she’s given some action movie a two-star review, when clearly to others it was worthy of five. But lately, her inbox has been overflowing with messages of a different kind.
Since recently appearing on The AM Show to share her honest experience of menopause, the bubbly 54-year-old has been contacted every day by women suffering the same symptoms – and often in secrecy.
“They’ve all disclosed with me a different version of the same story, which is that they didn’t know what was happening to them or they now feel validated,” tells Kate, determined to break the taboo.
“I’m saddened to hear from women in abject misery due to menopausal symptoms, which are having such a negative effect on their life. This is not right. I’m sick of it not being talked about.
“I don’t want these women to be shunned or silenced! I want the conversation to be normalised just as much as women talk about periods or sex.
“I’m of a generation where my mother and aunts never spoke about it. So I woke up one day and felt angry at everyone in my house except the cat. I started getting up five times a night because I was lava, and had to put my head in the fridge and scull cold milk.”
Unashamedly evangelical about the need to rebrand what a menopausal woman looks like, Kate admits she experienced multiple hot flushes while covering last year’s Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Wearing a fitted floor-length gold sequined gown, viewers at home would have never known the consummate professional was in “full flight” menopause, while calmly doing live crosses back to the TV studio.
“It was before I went on hormone replacement therapy [HRT]. I’ve been to the Oscars a few times, but I had so much more anxiety going into the 2020 awards than I had previous years,” she explains. “I hadn’t been
sleeping well and I didn’t know if the dress, which I’d been given the year before, was even going to still fit me.
“I then had so many hot flushes in the dress, so by the end, I was a hot, sweaty mess, but I just used a lot more powder and rolled with it. Thankfully, I didn’t have brain fog when interviewing Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi.”
According to the Australasian Menopause Society, around 70 per cent of women have significant symptoms and only 40 per cent will see a doctor because of them.
That statistic doesn’t surprise Kate in the slightest.
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