Speaking in an interview with model Penny Lancaster on Monday, during a meeting in parliament, the woman named only as Lucinda said it took her nine years to be prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
A group of celebrity campaigners, MPs and doctors met in parliament where women testified about their struggles to receive a menopause diagnosis.
Lucinda told the group that she first experienced menopausal symptoms aged 41.
Over the following three years she would experience night sweats, brain fog, bowel problems, ear infections, and other unexplained illnesses, all of which she went to her GP for.
It was only after a trip to the dentist where Lucinda had a “light bulb” moment and realised that these were symptoms of menopause.
“After about three and a half years I did find out it was perimenopause,” Lucinda said. “I went to the dentist who told me that my gum disease was related to falling levels of oestrogen. I had been to the doctor about eight times by then.”
Lucida added that the dentist told her that these symptoms were very common for middle-aged women, and that it was a sign they were perimenopausal.
The group who met in parliament, known as the Menopause Mandate, are calling for GPs and other healthcare workers to be “adequately educated” on menopause and prescribe appropriate treatments.
One of the GPs in attendance, Dr Juliet Balfour, said more specialist doctors and menopause clinics are needed.
She added: “We can’t expect GPs to know everything, but we want every GP to have basic knowledge so they can signpost to someone else in the practice who has got a bit more specialist knowledge and then they can ask a medical specialist if they’ve got further queries. Every practice should have a designated ‘menopause champion’.”