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Lisa Rinna reveals how she copes with menopause symptoms: ‘I was really suffering’

Lisa Rinna shares how she managed the symptoms of menopause and how she faces the changes that occur with aging.
/ Source: TODAY

Lisa Rinna is getting real about menopause and how sexuality changes with age.

“It’s really interesting when you go through menopause. I know it’s a drag for people to talk about menopause and it’s like, ‘Oh it’s a dirty secret and we don’t want to talk about it,’” the 60-year-old former star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” told Cosmopolitan in a new interview.

“But the truth is, you change. You’re not about making a baby. So, you’re not as crazy sexually driven — you just aren’t.”

Rinna said that when she first started having symptoms of menopause, she didn’t receive hormone therapy. Her mom and sister both had breast cancer and she worried about her risk of developing it, too, due to the medications.

“That was really terrifying because I thought, “Well, I can’t take hormones,’” she recalled. “I was really suffering.” 

"Everything you can go through, I was going through it," she added. "I couldn’t sleep, the hot flashes, everything, and I was anxious and angry and just a mess."

Lisa Rinna
Lisa Rinna attends the Nina Ricci Womenswear Fall Winter 2023-2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on March 3, 2023 in Paris, France.Dave Benett / Getty Images

Many people believe, like Rinna, that menopausal hormone therapy can increase the risk of breast cancer and other illnesses. However, more recent research shows hormone therapy is actually safe for many people and can even help them live longer, healthier lives.

"We now know for women close to the menopausal transition that hormone therapy can be safe and effective for relieving menopausal symptoms," Dr. Janine Austin Clayton, director of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health, said on TODAY in May. "The benefits can outweigh the risks."

When Rinna spoke with her doctor, it changed her outlook.

“I have an Eastern-Western medicine doctor that I go to. And I went to him one day and he said to me, ‘Why aren’t you on hormones?’” she said.

The former “Days of Our Lives” actor told her doctor she couldn’t take hormones because of her family history of breast cancer. But her doctor disagreed. She decided to take hormones and has been taking them for about the last eight years, she said.

“I haven’t looked back. And listen, if I’m going to have a better life by taking them, I’m going to do it,” she said. “I really think they’re helpful in so many ways.”

The North American Menopause Society recommends that people experiencing symptoms of menopause — which can include mood swings, incontinence, night sweats, sleep problems, hot flashes and sexual discomfort — speak to their doctors about treatments. People can also seek out practitioners who specialize in menopause with the search function on the society’s site. For those considering menopausal hormone therapy, consult a doctor about the type of medication and how long to take it based on individual health risks and family history.

Rinna said that shared about her experiences with menopause and aging because it remains such an unknown for so many people.

“Nobody tells you about what’s really going to happen. And for me, it’s about finding a way to just be comfortable and not put pressure on myself as to who I am in this moment at 60 years old,” she said. “I don’t want to have sex every five seconds.”

To maintain the spark, she and her husband of 26 years, Harry Hamlin, “create” moments of intimacy, she explained.

“We’ve always really known that you have to take the time to plan it,” she said. “You have to make the time as a couple, even just to go to dinner but also to have sex, to have a sex night, or maybe go to a hotel.”