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Exclusive: Nadia Sawalha gets candid about menopause struggle

HELLO! is encouraging companies to support employees going through the menopause

nadia sawalha menopause campaign
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Nadia Sawalha jumped at the chance to help us mark the launch of HELLO!'s Menopause Workplace Pledge campaign.This month, in partnership with the health charity Wellbeing of Women, we are encouraging companies to support their employees who are going through the menopause.

DISCOVER: An extensive guide to menopause employment law: leave, policies and more

And help is needed – it is estimated that 900,000 women in the UK have quit their jobs due to their struggles with menopausal symptoms. Nadia tells HELLO!: "I knew absolutely nothing about the menopause so when I first started having symptoms at 48 – bleeding heavily, night sweats, brain fog and awful memory loss – I was convinced I had early-onset Alzheimer's.

WATCH: The Countess of Wessex backs new menopause campaign

"Over time, the symptoms became part of me. My anxiety had become who I was. I thought: 'I've moved into that stage in my life when I have insomnia.'

READ MORE: Countess of Wessex supports campaign over 'tragic' impact of menopause

"It wasn't until eight years after my last period that I started taking HRT," she explains. "I was completely against it before because I was ignorant – I thought women were taking risks for their vanity. But my doctor, Louise Newson, convinced me to try it.

"I was on it for three months when she asked me: 'How are you sleeping?' 'Fine' 'How is your anxiety? ' 'Fine'. It improved my marriage – my libido had improved – and I have more energy, I want to go out and do things."

menopause campaign hello workplace

Nadia Sawalha has joined HELLO!'s Menopause Workplace Pledge campaign

"I'm an over-sharer so I started talking about the menopause on Loose Women in 2015. It wasn't something that was being talked about at the time. It was assumed that people didn't want to listen to it – I would have been one of those people – but we got a lovely message the other day from a younger person saying: 'I’m in my 30s but I feel like I’m now informed for the future.'"

RELATED: 'I had no choice but to quit my job because of the menopause' - one woman's battle

To read the full article, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale now. Subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.

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