Halle Berry thought she could 'skip' perimenopause. A health scare after 'great sex' was a wake-up call.

First lady Jill Biden and Halle Berry want storytellers to create more content about women's health.

Halle Berry attends A Day of Unreasonable Conversation at the Getty Center in Los Angeles on March 25, 2024. (Lindsay Rosenberg)

Halle Berry isn't afraid to talk about a "dirty little word" — menopause — and she wants Hollywood to listen up.

The Oscar-winning actress and first lady Jill Biden spoke together at Monday's A Day of Unreasonable Conversation. The event, held at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, brought together entertainment and political figures with content creators "to engage in critical discourse on the most urgent issues of our time." Berry and the first lady tackled women's health as one of the first panels of the day as they want storytellers to write more on the topic. The 57-year-old actress gave everyone plenty to talk about.

"First of all, my ego told me that I was gonna skip [menopause]," Berry said. "I'm in great shape. I'm healthy. ... So that makes one think, Oh, I can handle menopause. I'm going to eat right, exercise, and I'm gonna skip that whole thing. You don't skip it. But I was so [uneducated] at that time. I wish I knew then when I know now."

As it turns out, an intimate moment with boyfriend Van Hunt led her to discover she was in perimenopause.

"So, I finally meet the man of my dreams, and I don't know, some of you might know about my troubles with relationships," Berry said as she poked fun at her three "failed" marriages. "At 54, I find my guy. Perimenopause is not even a thought on my mind 'cause I'm skipping it. Remember? So we're having our thing, we're having sex and everything is great. And I'm like, 'Ah, the skies have opened up' So one day, we're having sex like normal."

"I didn't know she was gonna tell this," Biden interjected, causing the audience to erupt in laughter. "We're not talking about my [experience]!"

"So anyway, I have this great sex," Berry continued. "I wake up in the morning, I go to the bathroom, and guess what? I feel like I have razor blades in my vagina."

Biden interjected, "My daughter's here in the audience."

"It might happen to you if you're not careful, but razor blades ... it was terrible," Berry said. The actress said she immediately went to her gynecologist, who further confused her as to what was going on. "He says, 'Halle, you have a new guy right?' I said 'I do, I'm really excited.' He said, 'You messed up again ... you have the worst case of herpes I have ever seen."

Berry's ob-gyn ran more tests but was convinced she had herpes. Berry said she went from the office to have a talk with Hunt — who was shocked as he said he does not have herpes. They both got tested.

"Neither one of us has herpes," Berry said. "I realized, after the fact, that [the sensation] is a symptom of perimenopause."

"I'm not making any comment," Biden replied.

First lady Jill Biden.
First lady Jill Biden attends A Day of Unreasonable Conversation at the Getty Center in Los Angeles on March 25, 2024. (Lindsay Rosenberg)

Berry said she wished people warned her "there are things you can do to arrive at this time of life in a more elegant way."

"My doctor had no knowledge and didn't prepare me, that's when I knew, 'Oh my gosh, I've gotta use my platform. I have to use all of who I am and I have to start making a change and a difference," she explained.

Biden agreed and added how it's important "we hit it from the side of preventative" medicine. The first lady's appearance came one week after President Joe Biden signed an executive order to expand research on women's health care.

"We don't have answers," Biden declared, explaining she was given conflicting information as to whether hormone therapy is recommended for menopausal women.

"With all the money that you and President Biden are putting into play, we are going to have more information. We're going to be able to live better, healthier, longer lives. Right now, women live longer than men. They do live in poor health," Berry said at one point. "If you're living in poor health, why live longer? What's the point?"