'It's had a big emotional impact' - Michelle Heaton on going through menopause at 35 following surgery to prevent cancer
Michelle Heaton has spoken of her battle with depression in the years after she underwent radical surgery to prevent cancer, which has pushed her body into early menopause.
The mum-of-two underwent a double mastectomy in 2012 after she was diagnosed with the BRCA2 gene, which meant that she had a 85pc chance of developing breast cancer and a 30pc chance of developing ovarian cancer in the future.
Ten months after welcoming her second child Aaron in 2014, Michelle underwent a hysterectomy to remove her womb, cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes to minimise the chances of developing cancer later in life.
However, the preventative procedure means that Michelle (37) is now going through menopause and said Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has had an impact on her mental health.
Speaking to MailOnline, Michelle said she has battled with depression in recent years and struggles with body confidence.
"Early menopause at 35 has hardly been fun. I have my down days where I feel really low.
"I feel so tired and lethargic and I can't seem to snap myself out of it.
"You don't fully realise how depressed you are at the time until you've been able to pick yourself up eventually and you look back at it.
"I'm lucky that I haven't suffered the physical symptoms so many women going through the menopause get – such as hot flushes and night sweats.
'"For me it's had a big emotional impact."
Heaton was diagnosed with the BRCA2 gene months after welcoming her first daughter Faith in January 2012 and decided to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction to prevent the development of breast cancer.
The former Liberty X star and her husband Hugh Hanley decided to delay her hysterectomy as they desired a second child. After welcoming Aaron, Michelle opted to have a hysterectomy and said despite the difficulties, it is something she will never regret.
"I'd decided to have a hysterectomy once our son was born. It sounds drastic but I knew that it would reduce my chances of having ovarian cancer and ultimately allow me to be there for my kids later in life," she said.
The star was commended for her appearance on Loose Women in May, during which she revealed the scars left behind after her surgeries to raise awareness of BRCA2.