All women ‘should have a menopause health check at 45’, MPs say


    This includes monitoring at age 45 so doctors can talk to them about body changes. This check would be in addition to the one offered to both women and men.

    The call from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause (APPG) comes as model Penny Lancaster appeared in a new campaign to tackle the stigma surrounding the menopause.

    Let’s Chat Menopause was launched yesterday by charity Wellbeing of Women which aims to break down hang-ups about talking about the mid-life change.

    Penny, 51, who is married to rock star Sir Rod Stewart, said: “I first started getting symptoms during the first lockdown in 2020 but didn’t originally think it could be the menopause.

    “Everyone was having a hard time so I thought my symptoms were linked to that. It was a really hard time for me, my husband Rod and my family, but I’m thankful I was able to get the help I needed and now feel happier and more confident.”

    The celebrity, who is also a special constable with City of London Police, added: “I’ve spoken to so many women since who told me how their self-confidence has been taken away.

    “There still seems to be a stigma attached to the menopause because you’re seen as getting old and feel redundant. We really need to
    challenge this.”

    A survey of 2,000 women showed 86 per cent of those aged 45-65 believe there is not enough public awareness, education and conversations, leaving many unsure where to turn for support.

    More than half (57 per cent) said they would be more likely to share their experience if they saw others doing it more regularly. The number rose to almost three in five (59 per cent) for those experiencing perimenopause.

    The APPG report said many women are still not offered HRT by doctors, or they turn it down based on misconceptions.

    MPs on the committee also argued that despite the Government cutting the cost of repeat HRT prescriptions, the drug “is not a luxury and it ought to be freely available for all who wish to use it”.

    APPG chair and Labour MP Carolyn Harris is also taking part in Let’s Chat Menopause with Heart FM presenter Zoe Hardman.

    Carolyn, who also campaigned with Davina McCall and Mariella Frostrup, said: “Access to HRT remains a postcode ­lottery.”

    Zoe, 39, said she felt fear and shame being in early menopause which she found “particularly challenging”.

    She added: “By all of us sharing our stories, we can help more women know that they’re not alone.”


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