Halle Berry’s Doctors Misdiagnosed Her Perimenopause As The ‘Worst Case Of Herpes’

by Grace Somes
Halle Berry || Image credit: @halleberry

Halle Berry was wrongly told her menopause was an STD, herpes. And so she is out to change the conversation surrounding menopause, targeting one misdiagnosis story at a time.

The Oscar-winning actress stunned fans this week with the bizarre medical story of how doctors misdiagnosed her perimenopause.

Halle Berry opened up about her perimenopause experience during a women’s health discussion with First Lady Jill Biden at the A Day of Unreasonable Conversation summit in Los Angeles.

The 57-year-old actress revealed she was convinced she would “skip” any symptoms associated with hormones dropping and periods stopping. But when she was 54, sex started becoming increasingly painful.

“First of all, my ego told me that I was going to skip it. I’m very safe, I’m healthy, I managed to get myself off of insulin and manage my diabetes since I’m 20 years old,” Halle Berry said.

The Cat Woman actress described how the pain after sex with “the man of her dreams,” Van Hunt, led her to see her doctor, who informed her that she had the worst case of Herpes he’d ever seen.

“I feel like I have razor blades in my vagina. I ran to my gynecologist and said, ‘Oh my God, what’s happening?’ It was terrible. He said, ‘You have the worst case of herpes I’ve ever seen.’ I’m like, ‘Herpes? I don’t have Herpes!'” she recalled.

Her doctor prescribed a series of tests, only to discover that neither Van nor herself had the STI.

“I realized after the fact that is a symptom of perimenopause,” she shared with the panel.

She continued that she realized the pain was coming from vaginal dryness due to hormonal changes in her body.

“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.'”

Many doctors warn hormonal change can be mistaken for heart disease, depression, and even dementia.


Atrophic vaginitis occurs when vaginal tissues are thin, dry, and become more easily irritated as a result of estrogen loss during menopause.

This can make sex painful and cause bumps or cuts in the tissue, which can be mistaken for another problem, such as infection.

Halle Berry explained she hopes to change the conversation about how people feel when women reach their midlife.

She said, “It can’t just be the doom and gloom story. This is a glorious time of life.”

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