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As more celebrity women openly discuss the difficulties of menopause, Reuben is sharing her own stories.
“ER” alum Gloria Reuben is adding her voice to a growing chorus of women opening up about the challenges of the “change of life,” also known as menopause.
Amid increasing transparency about the varied nuances of menopausal symptoms coming courtesy of well-known women like Halle Berry, Oprah Winfrey, and Michelle Obama, Reuben is sharing her experiences at the onset of menopause six years ago.
“I would be in the makeup chair, and I could feel that dragon in my belly … and up would come that fire,” the 59-year-old “Elsbeth” actress told People magazine. “I could feel it like, ‘Oh, here it comes.’ I’m trying to stay cool, and it’s like the silent movies where the steam blasts out of your ears until I finally would be embarrassed and would just say, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m having a hot flash.’”
Reuben’s recollection mirrors that of the Black former first lady, who, years ago, detailed an embarrassing experience she had with a hot flash.
“I remember having one on Marine One,” she recalled during “The Michelle Obama Podcast” in 2020. “I’m dressed, I need to get out, walk into an event, and literally, it was like somebody put a furnace in my core and turned it on high, and then everything started melting. And I thought, ‘Well, this is crazy, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t do this.’”

Formally known as vasomotor symptoms (VMS), hot flashes are a result of hormonal changes that commonly occur in women during midlife. The fluctuations cause “a form of temperature dysfunction,” according to the National Library of Medicine, which notes that hot flashes are the menopausal symptom that most often compels women to seek treatment.
For Reuben, the unpredictable hormonal shifts “wreaked havoc” on her daily life, especially while “being in front of the camera for a very intense, very intimate scene, and it’s a closeup. I feel that dragon again rearing its head, and I start getting disjointed from my work,” she explained. “I start feeling self-conscious, and I start worrying. And those two things for an actor… not good.”
Now an ambassador for Veozah — the first FDA-approved nonhormonal medication available to treat menopausal women’s moderate to severe hot flashes — Reuben is sharing her story to let others know there are methods of relief. The veteran actress told People the vulnerability she felt during a natural midlife transition compelled her to speak publicly, especially now that she has found an effective treatment. Most importantly, she urges menopausal women to be open about their symptoms.
“The response [to Veozah] in my body was fantastic,” she said. “I can’t promise what it will do for anybody else; however, I’m encouraging women to go to their doctors and talk about it.”
She added: “There’s something wonderful about opening up the lines of communication to eradicate the shame or the stigma or the embarrassment.”
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