Emme Menopause

Heart Radio star Zoe Hardman reveals that she started experiencing early menopause at 34

Zoe Hardman, a host of weekend shows on Heart Radio, recently revealed that she started experiencing early menopause when she was just 34 years old.

Zoe struggled with some of the ‘horrible’ symptoms that left her reeling

At 34, most women are still in the waning peak of their fertile years. However, both Zoe and her sister Kathryn suffered from premature ovarian failure at this age.

Zoe went through constant hormonal waves that left her in a “constant wave of tears.”

She recently posted about her ordeal on Instagram, confiding in her followers: “It’s time for me to be brave. It’s time to talk about early menopause. 2020 has chucked some really challenging things at me, but this one is at the top of the list. Before I had my children, my wonderful sister @kathryn_hardman_photography very sadly went through premature ovarian failure at 34. We knew it was hereditary as both my mum and grandma went through it at 40.”

Zoe thanked her husband, rugby star Paul “Dozza” Doran for all of his support and kindness during her struggles.

He helped her to seek the medical treatment and emotional counselling that she needed. Her symptoms came on fast last year and culminated with her going through the menopause at 37.

“It was the lows that really knocked me,” she says. “I would cry,and I could feel my mental state slipping. I spent the whole of January just crying. My husband and I are such a tight couple, but I was picking holes in everything, not being able to get up in the morning and crying myself to sleep every night. It was savage.”

In addition to her lengthy Instagram post, she also bared her emotions in a recent issue of Fabulous Magazine. “This Sunday, in the brilliant @fabulousmag, you can read my full interview on what happened & how I am today. Menopause is NOTHING to be ashamed about, or embarrassed by…the more we talk, the more we normalise it and raise awareness that it can happen earlier than we think sometimes. But together as women, we can support each other through this time in our lives, whenever that may be.”

Sisters Kathryn and Zoe have been open with each other about their hormonal woes since 2016

Zoe was pregnant with her first child, and Kathryn wanted to try for the same. However, when Kathryn stopped taking the pill, she began to experience all of the typical symptoms of menopause. “My whole world fell apart. I sat in the consultant’s office and just burst into tears.”

As Kathryn had no hope to have her own biological children, Zoe was worried about how her sister would react to her own pregnancies. Zoe had daughter Luna in 2016 and son Kit in 2018, and while it was painful at first, Kathryn made peace with the reality. Now she is every bit the doting aunt. Zoe says, “she is the most incredible aunt, and I encourage that because I want her to have that special relationship with them.”

Kathryn’s marriage ended, but she is now in a new relationship and is the step-mum to three children. Zoe is now taking hormone replacement therapy, and credits it for giving her back her “lust for life.”

Are you struggling with symptoms of early menopause? Does ovarian failure run in your family?  If you would like to share your story we would love to hear from you at [email protected]

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