Home Lifestyle Penny Lancaster says she was ‘in denial’ of menopause symptoms

Penny Lancaster says she was ‘in denial’ of menopause symptoms

Penny Lancaster says she was ‘in denial’ of menopause symptoms

Penny Lancaster has revealed she initially dismissed her earliest symptoms of menopause as Covid-19.

The 51-year-old presenter, who is married to Rod Stewart, reflected on being “in denial” that she was going through menopause, despite having key symptoms such as hot flushes.

Lancaster opened up about the experience during an appearance on Lorraine on Friday (28 October), urging for more open conversation around the topic.

“Once women are able to open up and share their stories, others feel less alone,” Lancaster said.

“When I first had my symptoms, it was during lockdown so initially, I thought it might be Covid-19, with the heat and the flushes. They were disrupting my sleep so I couldn’t function.

“Not every woman suffers the same way, some women almost manage to find excuses, maybe, for the bad times they’re going through in their life.

“You’re constantly in denial. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘I’m not getting that old, it can’t be menopause, I’m not ready for that!’”

Lancaster said it was only when she spoke to her Loose Women co-stars about her symptoms that she was faced with the truth.

“We need to be able to talk about the more embarrassing things, and it wasn’t until I spoke with the ladies of Loose Women, and they said we know what you’re going through,” Lancaster said.

Common symptoms of menopause include hot flushes, trouble sleeping, night sweats, low mood, anxiety, headaches, and dry and itchy skin.

To deal with the mental health changes that come with menopause, Lancaster was prescribed antidepressants by her doctor. She said these “masked” some of the symptoms.

She highlighted that appropriate treatment will differ for everyone but urged women to keep a diary “of those moments where you feel fragile and don’t feel yourself, because there can be a pattern”.

Lancaster also discussed how menopause impacts women in the workplace.

A 2019 survey, carried out by Bupa, estimated that almost 900,000 women in the UK have left their jobs over an undefined period of time because of symptoms associated with menopause.

“Half the population are dealing with it, as well as men and their families. The NHS, 70 per cent of them are women, and we can’t afford to lose them,” Lancaster said.

She called for hormone replacement therapy – used to treat symptoms of menopause – to be made freely available to women across the UK.

HRT is available on prescription. In October 2021, the government announced it will extend the length of prescription cycles so that women will have to pay less for the treatment.

Under the plans, women would only need to pay two prescription charges for a 12-month supply.

However, this has currently been limited to three months of supply due to HRT being in short supply.


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