Imogen Crump just normalised perimenopausal hot flushes on live television.

When Imogen Crump, editor of University of Melbourne’s Pursuit and Research news website, made her way to the ABC News Breakfast studio on Wednesday, she didn’t expect to experience severe perimenopausal hot flushes live on air.

"I'm so sorry, I could keep stumbling through, but I'm having such a perimenopausal hot flush right now, live on air, sorry," she said to hosts Lisa Millar and Michael Rowland while fanning herself.

It was what happened next that garnered the most amount of attention — and praise.

"We need to make it normal to have these kinds of conversations and I love you for even saying it, because we interview people, we talk to people about this and this is the reality," Millar said.


To which Crump replied: "I don't think hormones respect national television."

It's true. Hormones don't respect national television. 

Hormones also don't respect gatherings with friends and family, workplaces and pretty much any other public setting.

So Millar is right. We need to normalise it, and that's exactly what Crump did.

While she took the time to recover, Rowland thanked her "being honest" and then filled in for 40 seconds, talking about the latest interest rate rises, until Millar interjected to say: "Imogen is back with us".

Crump, like many women her age, is navigating the world of perimenopause, explaining that her hot flushes, while short, are like "the furnace from the sun".

After the segment concluded, she addressed what had happened on her Instagram.

"Most days, I can work through all the varieties of weirdness perimenopause throws at me in private — or at least in a quiet room at work. 

"The hot flashes, anxiety, brain fog, itchiness and sore gums (yes) can be distracting and sometimes distressing.

"However, this morning my hormones decided to throw themselves at me live on ABC News Breakfast."

Crump was then left with a choice. 

Image: Instagram @imogenjc.


"I could either pretend it wasn't happening (and look inept) or explain why I was stumbling my way through a story on bilateral relations.

"In the moment, I chose to explain. Lisa Millar and Michael Rowland were lovely (as were the wider ABC Breakfast team supplying water and reassurance, and the audience sending kind messages in)."

She used the opportunity to raise awareness, knowing that so many women are living with perimenopause symptoms the same way she is.

"Perimenopause causes significant symptoms in around 50 per cent of Australian women in their early 50s and it is something we should feel able to talk about openly and honestly," she said.

"Do I wish it hadn't happened on live TV? Yes. But if it's a step toward having public conversations about something that at least half the population will experience in some form or other, then good," she wrote.


Her response and the way she handled herself on live television didn't go unnoticed, and many praised her for being so open.

"Perimenopause is the ungift that keeps on giving. And how fabulous that you took a pause and then kept going," one comment read.

Another wrote: "Thank you for your authenticity — the more we can all be real with each other, the more people will be able to reach out when they need support, knowing they will be heard and understood. 

"So glad it wasn't 'glossed over' — it was just a real person doing a normal thing — and you just made it even more normal!"

An ABC producer also responded, saying: "You are so amazing — the feedback from viewers has been nothing but positive. 

"People are so grateful you chose to speak about it. Thank you so much."

What is perimenopause? 

According to Health Direct, Perimenopause is the stage before a woman's last period, otherwise known as menopause. 

During this time, women usually between the ages of 45-55 will experience some symptoms of menopause.

Perimenopause lasts four to six years, however, for some it can go on for 10 years.

Some symptoms of perimenopause include hot flushes, mood swings, headaches, weight gain and sore muscles and joints.

Perimenopause ends a year after a woman's last period. She then moves on to the next stage, known as postmenopause. 

Feature image: Instagram @imogenjc/ABC News Breakfast.

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