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Exclusive: Michelle Griffith Robinson tells her menopause story – 'I don't want to suffer in silence'

The former Olympian opened up as part of HELLO!'s exclusive shoot

Bridie Wilkins
Senior Health & Fitness Writer
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Former Olympian Michelle Griffith Robinson has joined the likes of Penny Lancaster and Nadia Sawalha to discuss her experience with the menopause as part of HELLO!'s Menopause Workplace Pledge campaign.

SEE: Exclusive: Penny Lancaster shares her personal menopause experience - 'Rod was worried for me'

She said: "I'm perimenopausal and taking it like an Olympian – I’m getting myself armoured, I'm in training. I don't want to suffer in silence, I want to own the journey and I also want to show that you need support. You need medical advice, you need your friends and husband to be on your side and you need your workplace on your side, too.

WATCH: Sophie Wessex supports important menopause campaign

"I come from an Afro-Caribbean background and growing up, the menopause was never discussed. My mum would say: 'Oh, it’s one hot flush, it’s nothing'. The culture is a lot more private in terms of talking about things like sex. The attitude is: 'Why are you divulging your personal business?' But that’s one of the reasons I joined the Menopause Charity as I want more black women going through it to be visible.

SEE: A guide to menopause employment law: menopause leave, existing menopause workplace policies and more

SEE: 36 symptoms of menopause and how to treat them – expert advice

menopause shoot z© Photo: HELLO!

Michelle Griffith Robinson has joined HELLO!'s Menopause Workplace Pledge campaign

"I wrote an article for a paper about my drop in libido – it's one of my symptoms, along with interrupted sleep and waking up feeling tense. I wanted to highlight an issue that a lot of women go through, as the more you can share your experiences, the more you're empowering others.

"I’m all for empowering women and girls. My three children [two daughters and a son with her husband, former Welsh international rugby union Matthew Robinson] were horrified. They were like: 'Mum! Everyone at school is saying you’re talking about your sex life with dad! Its creepy!' [Laughs] But it’s the reality of having such an open discussion. If it’s affecting me, it must be affecting lots of other people. Matt was all for it – it helps if you get the support of your partner.

"We’re all on our own individual journeys, but there are a lot of us out there going through the same thing, so find your tribe."

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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