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Is the menopause still a taboo subject?

Image: OTO/Bella Freud

Beauty and Fashion

Is the menopause still a taboo subject?

A study of 2,000 adults found less than half (48 per cent) have had a loved one open up to them about their experience with menopause. In fact, almost half (47 per cent) believe approaching the subject with a woman might make them feel uncomfortable, while 38 per cent think it’s simply not their place to ask.

Delving deeper into the communication barriers surrounding menopause, a third (31 per cent) would be too embarrassed to broach the subject with a woman. And almost two-thirds (58 per cent) wouldn’t feel comfortable, even with a loved one or friend.

The research was commissioned by wellness brand OTO to mark the launch of its range of fans, created in partnership with fashion designer Bella Freud, to empower women to embrace the symptoms of menopause and help them to make a visible statement about the challenges.

Gemma Colao, founder and creative director of the wellness brand OTO:

“Our research shows that there’s clearly more to be done in breaking down the communication barriers surrounding the menopause. Our brand was born out of an ambition to help people find balance – and what better way to achieve this than through more open communication and awareness of one of the most challenging experiences in a woman’s life.”

Reflecting on the importance of these conversations, 46 per cent believe having more open and honest dialogue with their partner and children would make them feel better understood. With 27 per cent saying they would feel more loved and appreciated – and a fifth (22 per cent) believe it would improve their relationships.

The research went on to learn about the lifestyle impact menopausal symptoms have on women – 29 per cent have lost their confidence, while 24 per cent worry they’ll never feel themselves again. One in three feel flustered (31 per cent) and embarrassed (29 per cent) when experiencing a hot flush.

Adding they have felt on edge in social situations or an important meeting (27 per cent), as they fret over whether they will have a hot flash. While 13 per cent will also stress about feeling hot under the collar when sat on public transport. It also emerged women believe better sleep (47 per cent), improving their diet (27 per cent) and taking supplements (24 per cent) would help them mitigate menopausal symptoms.

Gemma Colao, founder and creative director of the wellness brand OTO:

“We’re delighted to team up with Bella Freud to create an accessory to help women feel seen – designed to help those experiencing symptoms of menopause relieve the rising heat with pride, whenever and wherever they need to.”

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