Leeds women are being urged to embrace the menopause and to talk openly with partners and friends.
New research by pharmaceutical company Glenmark has revealed that women in the city are reluctant to discuss menopause, even with their doctor.
Former pop star, presenter and early menopause survivor Michelle Heaton revealed the report’s findings to mark World Menopause Day.
She said: “It’s all about encouraging women to be open about their experiences.
“From everything on how the menopause can affect your looks, sex life to moods and focus.
“I’m particularly keen to spread the message to younger women like myself in their forties who may be showing symptoms such as putting on weight, changes to their skin or lack of libido, and do not realise this could be the start of their menopause journey and there are things they can do.”
Of those surveyed in Leeds, nearly one in five (17 per cent) are embarrassed to talk to their GP and a quarter (25 per cent) are embarrassed talk to a pharmacist.
Menopause happens when ovaries stop producing a hormone called oestrogen and no longer release eggs and can affect a woman’s confidence, sex life and relationships, sleeping patterns, moods, skin and hair.
There are three stages – Peri, Meno and Post – yet nationally over 90 per cent had absolutely no idea how long symptoms last for and three quarters (75 per cent) didn’t know that it affects women in their 40s and 50s, 60s and beyond.
Glenmark spokesman Katja Lundell added: “It is fascinating that so many women in Leeds are suffering in silence with the menopause, afraid to even to speak to their partners.”