Hollyoaks' Rita Simons shares impact of major surgery

Hollyoaks star Rita Simons has opened up on her experience of the menopause, after having a hysterectomy.

During tonight's (May 8) episode of ITVBe reality series Drama Queens, the former EastEnders actor explained how her life has changed since undergoing the procedure.

While attending a colonic irrigation appointment, Rita explained that she'd chosen to have a hysterectomy after dealing with painful periods for years.

"I used to be a real party girl," Rita began. "Now I'm old and boring I'm all about wellness and detox."

rita simons from hollyoaks

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Explaining why she's made the decision to focus on wellness, Rita revealed she had undergone a hysterectomy in January 2023 - with hormonal changes due to the menopause causing her to gain a stone in weight.

"I had the hysterectomy because for years and years, and years, really painful periods," she said, adding that the gap between her periods had gotten shorter as she got older.

"I can't stress enough how it's been the best thing I've ever done. And you just have to suck up some of these crappy side issues."

rita simons on drama queens

Later on in the episode, Rita shared the lengths she was going to in order to shed her hysterectomy weight - which included having a gym installed in her home and having EMS therapy (electronic muscle stimulation).

"I work in this industry that is very looks based," she said, reflecting on how her appearance has changed since the start of her career. "And they say it isn't, but it is."

Touching on the topic with her partner Ben Harlow, she then went on to explain the importance about raising awareness for the physical changes which come alongside the menopause.

rita simons, drama queens

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"Women are supposed to just get on with it [the menopause]," she said, recalling the comments left about her body on a Hollyoaks promo.

"The women that are prescribed antidepressants when they're not depressed, they're menopausal. I'm so pleased now [that] people are starting to talk about it more and I will shout it from the rooftops for as long as I can."

"I'm so f**king proud of you," Ben replied. "Honestly."

Drama Queens airs on Wednesday nights at 9pm on ITVBe and ITVX.

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