Halle Berry's perimenopause symptoms were mistaken for herpes.

The 57-year-old actress was convinced she was going to "skip" any symptoms associated with a woman's hormone levels dropping and periods stopping but when she was 54 and dating "the man of [her] dreams", Van Hunt, she found sex increasingly painful.

Speaking to First Lady Jill Biden at the 'A Day of Unreasonable Conversation' summit at the Getty Center in Los Angeles on Monday (25.03.24), Halle said:

"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.”

The 'Bruised' actress then told how the pain after sex led her to visit her doctor, who told her she had the worst case of herpes he'd ever seen, prompting her and Van to get tested, only for neither of them to have the STI.

She said: “I realised after the fact that [pain] is a symptom of perimenopause [due to dryness.

“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.'”

The Oscar-winning star wants to change the way women and men feel about women during their midlife and how they feel about this — which used to be a dirty little word — menopause, perimenopause, and we in this room have to change that… it can’t just be the doom and gloom story. "

She added: "This is a glorious time of life.”

Halle and Jill ended their discussion with a plea to the crowd of executives and creators to “help us change the way culture views women at this stage of our lives."

The 'Cloud Atlas' actress added: “And we’re not exactly at the end. We’re sitting up here, two women who are clearly down the path of life, we are not done. We’re just getting started in our next act.”