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We'd All Prefer Hot Moves To Hot Flushes

29/09/2017 14:06 BST | Updated 29/09/2017 14:06 BST
BBC/Guy Levy

Watching Strictly Come Dancing, I was so happy to hear Ruth Langsford announce she was 'out there for the menopausal women of Britain'.

She unashamedly admitted: 'I am fully in the menopause, there is no denying that, but I would prefer hot moves not hot flushes.'

The menopause is one of those subjects no one likes to talk about, and yet it will impact almost every woman in the world at some point in their life.

At least four million women in the UK go through the menopause each year, experiencing severe symptoms such as mood swings, hot flushes, panic attacks, aches and pains, painful sex, headaches, tearfulness, and insomnia. But despite this so many of us women experiencing menopausal symptoms are made to feel like we should hide our symptoms, be embarrassed, ashamed and ultimately suffer in silence and alone.

The reasons? In the past menopause was regarded as entering the final phases of our life, our downward slippery spiral to the grave. And it's understandable that no-one wants to shout from the rooftops about this. When our grandmothers hit menopause, they turned grey, gained weight, started wearing cardigans and we all knew their heydays were over.

No-one wanted to talk about this. And that meant women were keeping quiet about the mental and physical effects of menopause, most of all those celebrity women whose appeal was rooted in their youthful looks and lust for life.

But now that we live so much longer, we are still whippersnappers at 50. Just look at Kim Cattrall 61, Helen Mirren 72, Trinny Woodall 53, Nadia Sawalha 52, and Lorraine Kelly 57 - all glamorous, successful women over 50 who are embracing their midlife years.

I'm loving that simultaneously these glitzy, glamorous stars are talking about menopause as it's lifting the lid on this taboo.

And for most, menopause is not just a physical change, it's a mental change too, so it's reassuring for the women going through menopause to hear about the tougher emotional times that those with seemingly gilded lives endure as their hormones wreak havoc.

Earlier this year, Lorraine Kelly opened up about her struggle with the menopause, claiming that it stopped her "seeing the joy in things" and that she had she "lost her mojo".

Ulrika Jonsson recently publicly talked about how she has struggled with getting older and the mental change that occurs when going through the menopause, and last year Carol Vorderman's revealed she suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts when trying to cope with the menopause.

I particularly like Kim Cattrall's advice on menopause to all women, 'Change is part of being human. We evolve and should not fear that change. You're not alone. I feel that part of living this long is experiencing this, so I'm trying to turn it into a very positive thing for myself, which it has been, in the sense of acceptance and tolerance and education about this time of life.'

Let's not be ashamed anymore to talk about menopause with our friends, colleagues, family and partners. Long live this inspirational crop of celebrities who have reached midlife and refuse to be cowed by their hormones.

Find out more about managing menopause naturally at www.maryonstewart.com