Penny Lancaster has spoken out about her struggles with the menopause in an exclusive interview to mark the launch of HELLO!'s Menopause Workplace Pledge campaign.
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"I blamed the stress of lockdown for my menopausal symptoms until I lost it one evening in April last year.
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"I was calling the boys [sons Alastair, 15, and Aiden, ten] down for dinner, and getting impatient. When they eventually came into the kitchen, rowing, I screamed and threw a plate of dinner across the room and burst into tears. Rod was worried for me. We’re honest and talk openly about everything, but I didn’t know how to explain why I was feeling the way I did.
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Penny Lancaster has joined HELLO!'s Menopause Workplace Pledge campaign
"I spoke to a doctor who put me on anti-depressants, which levelled things out, but although symptoms of the menopause can be mistaken for depression, this wasn’t the right treatment for the condition – it was just a form of plaster that covered it up. It wasn’t until I spoke to a specialist about two months ago that I started taking HRT. She was a woman who’d been through it and knew what she was talking about. She reached out and pulled me to the other side!
"The menopause freaked me out at first. I thought: ‘This is the end of the road. I’m not going to have any more sex appeal, I’m not going to be as lenient or forgiving. I’ve got to say goodbye to the old Penny and say hello to the new one.’ I felt it was all shutting down around me.
"But as you get older you embrace each stage of your life with more maturity, and give yourself a bit of a break. I wanted to show that I’ve still got something to give, which is why I signed up to train as a special constable. I wanted to continue to be productive, give back and be the best that I can be. So now that I’m on HRT it’s like a fresh start. Not the end, but the beginning of a new chapter.
HELLO! has proudly teamed up with Wellbeing of Women to launch our Menopause Workplace Pledge campaign to highlight the impact that the menopause can have on employees and to encourage employers to better support their staff.
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