‘Changing Rooms’ presenter sits down with daughter to talk menopause

Linda Barker talks to her daughter about the menopause

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The much-loved TV host has now backed a campaign to end the taboo around it once and for all by launching a new series of Changing Wombs.

Linda talks to daughter Jessica, 30, about a host of topics related to the menopause, including health, career, self-confidence, getting older – and why so many people don’t seem to talk about it.

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

The research found a fifth of women mid- or post-menopause actively avoided talking about this part of the ageing process with others.

Of these, 42 percent wanted to keep things hidden from their children, and 40 percent from their partner.

Linda Barker 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 added: “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.

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

The research of 5,000 women – 2,500 pre-menopausal, and 2,500 who are in or post menopause – found of those currently suffering, more than half (56 percent) admit to being constantly surprised by what the condition has thrown at them.

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

Of those who do, just two in five (39 percent) had a close friend or family member they could confide in.

Two-thirds of women going through menopause said their confidence took a hit while experiencing symptoms.

And in addition to feeling less assured, 39 percent said their sex drive took a nosedive, while one in three (34 percent) felt less attractive.

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

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

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

And 47 percent of those polled, via OnePoll, still consider menopause a largely misunderstood condition, with the same percentage believing that women don’t like to talk 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.

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 not 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 help provide a solution to the symptoms they are experiencing.

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

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