- Ms Wark was asked about ‘game changing’ new drug to prevent symptom
- Veoza has been approved in UK but only available to private healthcare patients
Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark says menopause medication would be on the NHS ‘if men had hot flushes’.
The 68-year-old star appeared on BBC Woman’s Hour where she was asked by presenter Emma Barnett about the ‘game changing’ new drug to fight off the symptom, which has been approved in the UK.
However, the pioneering new hot flush drug Veoza will only be available from January 5 to private healthcare patients.
Ms Wark bravely opened up about her ‘hard’ menopause triggered aged 46 when she had a full hysterectomy, which included the removal of her ovaries.
She began taking HRT the day after to limit the symptoms but stopped taking the pills when she was spooked by a 2002 study which found links between the treatment and increased risks of breast cancer.
It catapulted her into a life of sleepless nights and severe sweats, which left her ‘literally wrung out’.
Ms Wark believes there is still a long way to go as women are still ’embarrassed’ by having hot flushes.
Speaking to BBC Woman’s Hour, Ms Wark said: ‘I do genuinely think that if men had hot flushes it would be on the NHS.’
The presenter said the issue is still taboo and has a long way to go to address it.
She continued: ‘It’s still problematic. I think women are more open to a degree of talking about it, I don’t think totally.
‘I think you have to pull stuff out.
‘I still think women still feel embarrassed, women feel embarrassed to have hot flushes.’
The mother-of-two opened up about her own menopause and how difficult it was to get the BBC the produce her 2017 documentary ‘The Menopause and Me’.
‘It took a while, I wouldn’t say the BBC was forward about it,’ she said.
‘To be honest, I had had a hard menopause at 46 when I had a full hysterectomy.
‘It was the producer who had been trying to get it on… and said “maybe if you tell your story then the BBC will buy it”, and they did.’
Ms Wark added: ‘It was hard, having a hysterectomy, and it was full on. It was ovaries, the lot. It was hard.
‘Then I went on to the old horse’s urine – Premarin – and I stayed on that until the false scare in America where everybody said “oh my god, HRT, what a disaster”, which of course was nonsense.
‘I came off it and had a hard menopause.’
The BBC announced in October that Ms Wark, originally from Dumfries, Scotland, will step down from Newsnight after the next election.
She is the show’s longest-serving host, having been in the job since 1993.
BBC director general Tim Davie thanked her for her contribution to the programme. In a statement published by the BBC, he said: ‘Generations of Newsnight viewers have benefited from Kirsty’s authority, her razor-sharp insight and her journalistic flair.
She sets the standard for engaging yet authoritative presenting.’
Ms Wark will, however, continue to present BBC shows including The Reunion and Start The Week on Radio 4. She also plans to finish her third novel.
Sarah Carter is a health and wellness expert residing in the UK. With a background in healthcare, she offers evidence-based advice on fitness, nutrition, and mental well-being, promoting healthier living for readers.