A fifth of women mid or post menopause actively avoid talking about it with others

Research of 5,000 women– 2,500 pre-menopausal and 2,500 who are in or post menopause – found over half (56 per cent) admit to being constantly surprised by what the condition has thrown at them.

And an astonishing number of these women (53 per cent) felt they had or have no support network around them at all.

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Of those who do, just 39 per cent had a close friend or family member they could confide in.

It also found more than four in 10 (42 per cent) of women would prefer to keep things hidden from their children.

While 40 per cent feel more comfortable with not sharing their journey with menopause with their partner.

Beloved TV-host is back to tackle taboos

This comes from the UK’s biggest study into menopause, commissioned by global hygiene and health company Essity to launch online menopause community issviva.co.uk.

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A new series has launched featuring the much-loved TV presenter Linda Barker, who has gone from Changing Rooms to talking about ‘Changing Wombs’, as she opens up to her daughter – about the menopause.

The 61-year old has been through the menopause herself and has been open about her experiences in the past – revealing just how it impacted her life after “hit her like a freight train”.

And now the favoured host has backed a campaign to end the taboo around it once and for all by launching a new series of Changing Wombs.

Linda speaks to her daughter Jessica about a host of related topics including health, career, self-confidence, getting older, and why so many people don’t seem to talk about it.

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SWNS - Linda Barker her daughter Jess Barker have an open conversation about the menopause.SWNS - Linda Barker her daughter Jess Barker have an open conversation about the menopause.
SWNS - Linda Barker her daughter Jess Barker have an open conversation about the menopause.

Open and honest conversations

Linda Baker said: “I know now that I haven’t spoken about the issue of menopause, and what was happening to me, as much as I could have done, especially with Jessica, who as a woman, will one day go through the same thing.

“It’s way overdue that we break this taboo and start having open conversations about something which is totally natural and normal.”

Daughter Jessica Short said: “Following this chat, I am so glad we have opened up to each other.

“I now understand much better the impact going through the menopause had on my mum, and what I can expect in the future.

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“I’d encourage everyone to have a similar conversation with the women they love.”

The results also found 66 per cent of women going through menopause said their confidence took a hit while experiencing symptoms.

Online community to affirm women with advice and support

In additional to feeling less assured, 39 per cent said their sex drive took a nosedive and 34 per cent felt less attractive.

Of the 78 per cent who continued to work, 58 per cent kept the fact they were going through the menopause from their colleagues.

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However, suffering in silence meant they couldn’t share how things were affecting them in the workplace – from tiredness (44 per cent) and poor concentration (30 per cent) to poor memory (23 per cent) and an inability to focus (22 per cent).

Sadly, six in 10 women mid or post menopause admit it is still a taboo subject – with 58 per cent sure this is still because of embarrassment about disclosing personal problems.

While 47 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, still consider menopause a largely misunderstood condition, and the same percentage think women don’t like to about the deterioration of their body.

The reality is, those with the menopause can experience up to 62 different symptoms, according to Dr Naomi Potter, who recently worked with Essity.

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A spokesman for the hygiene and health company said: “There are so many symptoms that women can experience during menopause, many of which are often no associated with it and yet there are so few solutions readily available.

“We are aiming to create an online community with issviva.co.uk that provides women with advice, support, and products that can provide a solution to the symptoms they are experiencing.

Menopause should not be a taboo subject. It should be something everyone can eel comfortable talking openly and honestly about.”

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