Rod Stewart Helped Me Cope with ‘Inferno’ of Menopause, Says Wife Penny Lancaster: 'My Blood was Boiling'

"One night after another, I was waking up, sweating head to toe," said Lancaster, who was originally misdiagnosed with depression after first experiencing menopause symptoms at age 49

<p>Mark Thompson/Getty</p> Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster

Mark Thompson/Getty

Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster
  • Rod Stewart's wife Penny Lancaster first started experiencing menopause symptoms at the age of 49

  • "It wasn’t just a little discomfort in the night. I was on top of the covers, feeling like this inferno was rising, as if I was standing in a pit of fire," she told The Times in a new interview

  • Lancaster, who was misdiagnosed with depression at first, said her musician husband "dealt" with her menopause symptoms "very well"

Penny Lancaster is opening up about going through the menopause.

While speaking to The Times in an interview published Thursday, June 20, Lancaster, 53, discussed some of her symptoms and revealed how her husband Rod Stewart helped her cope after she was originally misdiagnosed with depression.

The model and TV personality, who was 49 when she first started experiencing menopause symptoms, recalled how just before the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020, she suddenly, "Found that one night after another, I was waking up, sweating head to toe."

She and Stewart, 79 — who tied the knot in 2007 after starting dating in 1999 — were at their home in Florida at the time.

<p>Mark R. Milan/GC Images</p> Penny Lancaster and Rod Stewart pictured in 2020

Mark R. Milan/GC Images

Penny Lancaster and Rod Stewart pictured in 2020

Related: Rod Stewart Shares Romantic 17th Anniversary Photo with Wife Penny Lancaster: '17 Years of Love'

Lancaster, who thought she had COVID-19 at the time, explained, “It wasn’t just a little discomfort in the night. I was on top of the covers, feeling like this inferno was rising, as if I was standing in a pit of fire."

“The heat started in my feet and rose up my legs. It was as if I could feel it going through my blood vessels, my blood was boiling. I could feel it rising, closer and closer to my heart and into my head," she went on.

"You think, ‘How much hotter can I actually get?’ So I’d wake up to the heat, to the fire — bearing in mind we had air conditioning, it wasn’t hot in the house — find myself on top of the bedcovers, finally cooling down, and then, of course, waking up again, freezing cold because my temperature had settled, because my skin was damp and then cold with the air-con. Then back under the covers. And this was a vicious cycle for about four times a night,” the policewoman added.

<p>Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock</p> Penny Lancaster on 'Loose Women' in 2021

Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Penny Lancaster on 'Loose Women' in 2021

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At the time, Lancaster's fellow panelists on the U.K. talk show Loose Women suggested it might be menopause, but she thought she was too young.

At the end of March 2020, Lancaster, Stewart, and their two sons Alastair, 18, and Aiden, 13, returned to their U.K. home, which is when her symptoms got worse.

“I had a few … what I could classify as ‘mental breakdowns,’ " she told the outlet, remembering how the family got chickens at the time and she became "the crazy chicken woman," hanging out in the animals' area.

One night at dinner, Lancaster revealed that father-of-eight Stewart and the two boys took a while to come down, and she ended up throwing the plates "across the kitchen."

<p>Dave Benett/Getty</p> Penny Lancaster and Rod Stewart

Dave Benett/Getty

Penny Lancaster and Rod Stewart

Related: Rod Stewart Reunites with All 8 of His Kids at Son Liam's Wedding — See the Rare Photos!

"I couldn’t contain it anymore. I didn’t want to hurt anyone. I didn’t want to hurt myself. But I felt like it was getting to that point,” she shared.

"I collapsed on the floor in a heap, burst into tears, shaking in the corner. Of course, it was an absolute shock to Rod and the boys. Rod just went, ‘Boys, in the other room. Leave Mummy,’ " Lancaster said of her husband. "He came over and said, ‘It’s all right, darling. It’s OK, it’s OK.’ I was shaking. ‘I can’t do this. What the hell is going on with me?’ I thought I was going mad. Rod said, ‘Right, we’ve got to get you to the doctor’s. You can’t carry on like this. There’s got to be an answer. There’s got to be something.’ ”

Lancaster said she was misdiagnosed with depression by one doctor, who gave her antidepressants The medication made Lancaster, who has no history of mental health issues, feel worse and just "numb," according to the outlet.

It was only when the Loose Women panelists performed an intervention and recommended Dr. Louise Newson — a menopause specialist — that she finally got some answers.

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“I burst into tears because of the good news," Lancaster told the outlet. “That’s what it was. ‘I’m not going mad. I can save my marriage. I can keep my family together.’ I thought everything was falling apart.”

Lancaster said Stewart "dealt with it very well.”

Dr. Newson eventually weaned her off the antidepressants and prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT) instead, with Lancaster saying she felt better "almost immediately."

"Within a week or two, I slept through the night and my bedsheets weren’t wet. And then I could function during the day, and then I was just uplifted. I had more energy, more confidence," she said. "I wanted to start exercising again. The chicken hammock went into retirement. That’s not there any more. But that was a moment, definitely an important time to reflect on and to be able to talk about, like I am.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, the menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. Symptoms include mood changes, hot flashes, mood changes, sleep problems, weight gain and thinning hair.

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