Changing Rooms presenter Linda Barker opens up about health issue that 'hit her like a train' | The Sun

Linda Barker has gone from Changing Rooms to talking about ‘Changing Wombs’ as the TV presenter opened up about the menopause.

The 61-year-old has been through the menopause herself and has been open about her experiences in the past – revealing just how it impacted her life after it "hit her like a freight train".

Linda has now backed a campaign to end the taboo around it once and for all by launching a new series called Changing Wombs.

During the series, Linda talks to daughter Jessica 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

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

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Of these, 42 per cent wanted to keep things hidden from their children and 40 per cent 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 said: “Following this chat, I am so glad we have opened up to each other.

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"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, 56 per cent admit to being constantly surprised by what the condition has thrown at them.

And 53 per cent felt they had or have no support network around them at all.

Of those who do, just 39 per cent had a close friend or family member they could confide in.

While 66 per cent of women going through menopause said their confidence took a hit while experiencing symptoms.

In addition to feeling less assured, 39 per cent said their sex drive took a nosedive and 34 per cent felt less attractive.

Of the 78 per cent who continued to work, 58 per cent 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 per cent) and poor concentration (30 per cent) to poor memory (23 per cent) and an inability to focus (22 per cent).

Sadly, six in 10 women mid or post menopause admit it is still a taboo subject – with 58 per cent sure this is still because of embarrassment about disclosing personal problems.

While 47 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, still consider menopause a largely misunderstood condition, and the same percentage think 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.

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“We are aiming to create an online community with 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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