Niecy Nash Says Menopause Hot Flashes Once Made Her Think a ‘Dead Body’ Was in Her Bed: ‘I Screamed’ (Exclusive)

The Emmy-winning actress opens up about being menopausal and all she’s learned about her changing body from new digital platform Versalie

<p>Michael Simon/</p> Niecy Nash

Michael Simon/

Niecy Nash

Niecy Nash thought she was living her own American Horror Story a couple years ago.

The Emmy-winning star — who recently partnered with new digital platform Versalie to help get the word out about menopause and how to be better prepared and informed — tells PEOPLE she once got the fright of her life when her body began to change. 

“I got hot and then I kept getting hot and I was like, ‘Sound the alarm. This is it’,” says Nash, 54, of experiencing hot flashes for the first time, which led her to realize she’d entered menopause. “It’s that heat you can’t control, no matter how cold it is in the room.”

Indeed, one night “I fell asleep with a wig on,” she says. “I guess I got hot in the middle of the night and took it off. I woke up the next morning and screamed to the top of my throat because I thought it was a dead body in the bed!” 

<p>Michael Simon/</p> Niecy Nash

Michael Simon/

Niecy Nash

That said, hot flashes haven’t been the only symptoms the Grotesquerie star has been experiencing. After doing research on Versalie, she now feels more equipped with information.

“When you don’t know what you don’t know, then you don’t know what it’s related to," she says. “I thought, ‘Oh, I’m having menopausal hot flashes’ and that was the extent of it. I did not relate the fatigue, because every woman I know is tired. Your scalp being dry, hair thinning, you don’t relate it to menopause. Those were some of the things I just didn’t catch.” 

Related: Niecy Nash Celebrates 54th Birthday with Starry Emmy-Themed Party Thrown By Her Wife and Pals: 'I Love It Here' (Exclusive)

Another tricky symptom she’s dealt with: mood swings. “I always have something to say, but when it happens I get very quiet and want to go off by myself because everything that you say or do irritates me,” she says of trying to cope during those moments. “It’s like, I’m going to go over here and sit down and shut the door and please don’t knock.” 

When it comes to getting medical advice on menopause, “so many doctors are not trained in it,” she says. “It wasn’t even a conversation I had with my medical professional until I got to this point right now. Utilizing the resources on this digital platform, now I’m like, ‘I can talk to somebody, I can find products, resources and a sense of community.’” 

<p>Natasha Campos/Getty</p> Vivica Fox and Niecy Nash

Natasha Campos/Getty

Vivica Fox and Niecy Nash

Nash says that by sharing her story, she’s built bonds with her Hollywood peers. “I’m telling everybody. I was literally on the red carpet with Tabitha Brown and Vivica Fox. We all started getting hot at the same time and I was like, ‘I got you. Go to this website.'" 

More and more stars are speaking out about menopause, including Halle Berry, who recently opened up about her own shocking symptoms of perimenopause.

For Nash, who’s currently using “holistic remedies” to address her symptoms, it’s important for all women — but specifically Black women — to understand what their bodies are going through during menopause.  

Related: Halle Berry Recalls Her Doctor Saying She Had the 'Worst Case of Herpes' He'd Ever Seen — but It Was Perimenopause

According to Versalie, “Studies show that menopause symptoms can be more severe and last longer for Black women. And for some Black women, they can even experience menopause earlier than other races. This means that women of color can often go without adequate care during menopause."

“There are some things in my social groups that had not been talked about, menopause being one of them,” says Nash. “So to be able to open the door to have more transparent conversations about it, I think just moves us a little further forward together and knowing what is happening with our bodies. And I feel like in our community, sisterhood is so important.”

<p>Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty </p> Niecy Nash-Betts and Jessica Betts

Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty

Niecy Nash-Betts and Jessica Betts

As for Nash, her biggest support system has been her wife of three years, Jessica Betts, who happens to be experiencing menopause as well. 

“I feel like we had a moment where we were both having a hot flash at the same time. I'm like, ‘You can't be hot when I'm hot. Maybe not the hotness, but the hot flashiness.’ You know what I mean,” she says with a laugh. “We just made a joke out of it. We laugh our way through a lot of things because what could you do? We laughed to keep from crying.”

For more information and resources on menopause visit

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