Dance competition show Strictly Come Dancing's judge Shirley Ballas reflects on change: It's been a very, very difficult time.
The famous dancer is a front for the QVC campaign and hopes to ensure that other women are better prepared for this big milestone than she was.
Research carried out by a television company and an online shopping site showed that Shirley was not unique in the way she was being overcome by the various hormonal changes her body was experiencing. The study revealed that less than 10% of people are prepared for the birth of their child.
Shirley Ballas said: 'I never thought about menopause. It throws you out of sync. But it’s not just a list of symptoms. I just didn’t have any support. My son could see I was in the darkest time of my life. He was the first person who actually sat down and said “tell me whats going on”.
‘It is a taboo subject for me but when QVC asked me to part of this campaign, I thought “if it can help one person or it can help many, it’s worth sharing the story".'
Two out of five (39%) are aware of menopause symptoms, but they're unclear on what to do with this information. More than a quarter of survey respondents believe that the menopause is a privilege of only the older women of society.
This is despite the findings revealing that for a third, (31%) the menopause started at a much younger age than expected.
A third of respondents (37%) said they had never discussed it with another female relative.
Shirley Ballas added: 'My experience going through the menopause was an emotional and scary experience on so many levels. The ordeal is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life – it was a very, very difficult time indeed. It’s such a huge milestone and yet, it’s talked about so little.
'Discussing the menopause shouldn’t be seen as taboo but I understand why talking about it can be embarrassing. It is after all a natural part of life that half of the population experience and it needs much more communication.
Looking back at my experience of the menopause, I would tell my younger self to reach out for help, the minute my body started to change.
By working with QVC to be part of its Menopause Your Way video, we are aiming to reach people who need support, and make sure no one is ashamed to say how they’re feeling.' Shirley Ballas added.