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Halle Berry Says A Doctor Once Misdiagnosed Her Perimenopause As Herpes

Halle Berry knows all too well how important it is to be informed on women’s health issues like menopause.

On Monday, during a sit-down conversation with first lady Jill Biden at a summit called “A Day of Unreasonable Conversation” at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Oscar winner discussed the time a doctor once mistook her perimenopause symptoms for a sexually transmitted infection.

Berry said, according to The Hollywood Reporter, that she had sought out medical advice due to pain she was experiencing after sex. A doctor told her she had the worst case of herpes he’d ever seen.

But when she and her boyfriend, Grammy-winning musician Van Hunt, were both tested for herpes, they tested negative.

She’d been experiencing vaginal dryness, Berry later found. “I realized after the fact that is a symptom of perimenopause,” she said, as THR reported. “My doctor had no knowledge and didn’t prepare me, that’s when I knew, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve got to use my platform, I have to use all of who I am and I have to start making a change and a difference for other women.’”

Berry then encouraged the crowd at the Getty Center to “help us change the way culture views women at this stage of our lives.”

“And we’re not exactly at the end,” she said, referencing the first lady. “We’re sitting up here, two women who are clearly down the path of life, we are not done. We’re just getting started in our next act.”

Van Hunt and Halle Berry photographed at the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.
Van Hunt and Halle Berry photographed at the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California. Arturo Holmes via Getty Images

Berry, 57, founded online health and wellness brand Rē-Spin in 2020. In January, she announced that the site was reframing its focus to spread awareness around menopause.

“Over the past two years, I have been increasingly fueled by my passion to share my experiences with menopause and break the stigma that surrounds it,” the actor wrote in a letter posted on the brand’s website at the time. “Through my own journey and research, I have discovered a newfound sense of empowerment and health.”

“My goal is to empower women to embrace this natural transition and become inspired by the eternal beauty that comes with it,” she later added.

Berry previously teamed up with Biden in January, when the two participated in a roundtable discussion at the University of Illinois Chicago to discuss menopause research.

The actor shared a slideshow of photos and videos on Instagram at the time that documented her visit to the university, writing in the post’s caption: “Here’s to rē-framing conversations around menopause because women are worth it!!”

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