TV presenter Penny Lancaster has said she thought she would lose her sex appeal due to the menopause.
The Loose Women star and model, 50, who is married to Sir Rod Stewart, spoke about her experiences of the menopause alongside other celebrities including presenter Nadia Sawalha, Olympian Michelle Griffith Robinson, actress Julie Graham and make-up artist Ruby Hammer.
She told Hello! magazine: “The menopause freaked me out at first.
“I thought, ‘This is the end of the road. I’m not going to have any more sex appeal, I’m not going to be as lenient or forgiving. I’ve got to say goodbye to the old Penny and say hello to the new one’.
“But as you get older you embrace each stage of your life with more maturity, and give yourself a bit of a break.”
Lancaster also took on eight months of training during lockdown to become a special constable for the police and is now out patrolling the streets once a week.
Graham, 56, also feels menopause should be an “empowering time” if women are “getting the proper attention and treatment”.
She added: “If you have children, they’re older so you have more time on your hands.
“There’s also a theory that if you have less oestrogen, you end up not giving a shit as much as you used to!”
Fellow Loose Women star Sawalha, 56, admitted she knew “absolutely nothing” about the menopause and was convinced she had early-onset Alzheimer’s when she started experiencing symptoms at 48 of memory loss and brain fog, as well as heavy bleeding and night sweats.
“Over time the symptoms became part of me. My anxiety had become who I was”, she said.
Olympic triple jumper Griffith Robinson, 50, said she is perimenopausal, the period shortly before the menopause, and is “taking it like an Olympian”.
She added: “I’m getting myself armoured, I’m in training.
“I don’t want to suffer in silence, I want to own the journey and I also want to show that you need support.”
Hammer, 59, said: “I work in an industry which is all about youth and fashion.
“I’ve never hidden my age, and I talk about the menopause because I think every woman should be aware.”
The five women spoke about their experiences as part of Hello! magazine’s campaign for the Menopause Work Pledge, in partnership with health charity Wellbeing of Women, which encourages companies to support their staff going through the menopause.
Read the full article in Hello! magazine, out now.