The Countess of Wessex has opened up about her experience with menopause in an incredibly candid video call, where she admitted that women's health is often portrayed in a negative light and considered taboo to talk about.
Sophie, who was joining Wellbeing of Women's Chair, Professor Dame Lesley Regan, to mark her new royal patronage, touched on the topics of menstruation, menopause and pregnancy. The 56-year-old royal spoke to Sarah Jane Cale, the founder of Positive Menopause, a website offering information and advice for menopausal women.
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"Really we should be celebrating the fact that we don't have to have periods anymore – it should be a liberation, but it feels like a shackle," the Countess admitted. "It's described as something incredibly negative.
WATCH: Sophie Wessex calls for need to have open conversations
"One, yes, it's an admittance of the fact that yes, we're getting a bit older, we're not as young as we were before, we're not being, you know, to use the word 'productive', we are past that stage, and it's quite a moment to admit it."
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Sophie Wessex is now patron of Wellbeing of Women
The mother-of-two, who shares Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn with her husband Prince Edward, added: "Again, I go back to education; how much are young girls actually told at the beginning? When we're told that we're going to begin our periods, are we told that they're going to end as well?
"We don't want to have those conversations whilst we are in the zone of being young and having children and everything and then all of a sudden you are going, 'Oh my god, what's going on, how did this happen?'"
"It's described as something incredibly negative," she said of the menopause
Earlier in the call, Sophie spoke about the need to make women's health a part of everyday conversation – and how young girls find out more about periods from their friends than their mothers.
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"The menstrual cycle, periods, the menopause, having babies... you know, we all talk about having babies, but nobody talks about periods, nobody talks about the menopause, why not?" Sophie asked.
"It's something that happens to us 12 times a year, it's something that's incredibly normal but it's something that is hidden and I think it's time to say enough, we need to bring this out onto the table and say let's talk about this," she said, later adding: "I'm sure when you first had conversations with your mother, everything was kept separate, we sort of found out more from our friends that we did from our parents and I would hope that has changed at least a little bit for some young women today."
Of her new patronage, the Queen's granddaughter-in-law concluded: "I'm delighted to take on this role. I have a vested interest in it."
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