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Halle Berry Recalls Her Doctor Saying She Had the 'Worst Case of Herpes' He'd Ever Seen — but It Was Perimenopause

“My doctor had no knowledge and didn't prepare me,” the actress, 57, said

<p>Daniele Venturelli/Getty</p> Halle Berry

Daniele Venturelli/Getty

Halle Berry

Halle Berry is detailing the bizarre way she learned she was in perimenopause.

During Propper Daley's fourth "A Day of Unreasonable Conversation" summit Monday, the actress had a candid conversation with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden about menopause and women’s health.

The 57-year-old shared that she learned she was perimenopause after her doctor mistook her symptoms for herpes. Perimenopause refers to the time where the body starts to make its natural transition to menopause, which marks the end of a woman's reproductive years.

“First of all, my ego told me that I was going to skip [perimenopause],” she began. “I'm in great shape. I'm healthy. I managed to get myself off of insulin and manage my diabetes since I'm 20 years old. So that makes one think, oh, I can handle menopause. I'm going to skip that whole thing. I was so uneducated about it at that time.”

Berry explained that when she was 54 she met the “man of my dreams” and started dating Grammy-winning musician Van Hunt. Sharing details about her sex life, the Oscar winner recalled having extreme pain after intercourse one day so she immediately visited her doctor.

“I feel like I have razor blades in my vagina. I run to my gynecologist and I say, ‘Oh my God, what's happening?’ It was terrible,” she recalled, teasing that she has “no shame” sharing her story because it can help other women. “He said, ‘You have the worst case of herpes I've ever seen.’ I'm like, ‘Herpes? I don't have herpes!’”

Related: Halle Berry Says She Is 'Challenging Everything I Thought I Knew About Menopause' at 56: 'Own Wherever You Are'

<p>Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty</p> Halle Berry

Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty

Halle Berry

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Berry said she immediately confronted Hunt about it. However, the couple later both tested negative for the sexually transmitted disease (STD).

“I realize after the fact, that is a symptom of perimenopause,” the actress said, noting that dryness is a symptom of the transitional period. “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 ended the conversation asking the audience to “help us change the way culture views women at this stage of our life.”

Back in August 2023, the star spoke to Women’s Health about menopause and said she’s not going to surrender to society's expectations about it.

In fact, Berry said she’s “challenging all those stereotypes about how you have to look a certain way or feel a certain way” while she’s “smack dab in the middle of menopause.”

“I am challenging everything I thought I knew about menopause. Things like: ‘Your life is over.’ ‘You are disposable.’ ‘Society no longer has a place for you.’ ‘You should retire.’ ‘You should pack it up,’ ” she said at the time.

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