Sophie Wessex calls amount of women who quit careers due to the menopause ‘tragic’ as she calls for change

SOPHIE Wessex said that the number of women who have to leave their careers due to the menopause is “tragic” in a video discussion.

The Countess of Wessex explained that women who are over 40 should be celebrated and that they shouldn’t be made to feel that they have to “slope off into the shadows”.


The Countess of Wessex joined an online discussion to launch the Menopause Workplace Pledge schemeCredit: PA

Sophie, wife of Prince Edward, explained that these women were “fabulous” and their dropping out of professional life is detrimental to the work force.

The Countess, 56, has previously spoken about the menopause and about her experiences of “the change”.

She shared that sometimes she would lose her train of thought when public speaking.

Prince Edward’s wife called for employers to rally round women navigating this stage of life and to offer support.

What is the menopause and what age does it usually start?

Menopause is a natural part of ageing, which usually happens when a woman is between the age of 45 and 55.

In the UK, the average age for a woman to go through menopause is 51.

It occurs when oestrogen levels in the body start to decline.

During this time periods become less frequent or they can suddenly stop, and after menopause occurs women will be unable to become pregnant naturally.

Around one in 100 women experience menopause before the age of 40, and this is known as premature ovarian insufficiency or premature menopause.

Many celebrities have spoken out about their own experiences, including Lisa Snowdon, Davina McCall, Michelle Heaton and Zoe Hardman. 

What are the symptoms?

Menopausal symptoms can start months or years before your periods stop, and can last until four years or longer after your last period.

Symptoms include:

  • Hot flushes
  • Changing or irregular periods
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Anxiety and loss of confidence
  • Low mood, irritability and depression
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness or discomfort during sex
  • Reduced libido (sex drive)
  • Problems with concentration or memory
  • Weight gain
  • Bladder control


She said: “Women having to leave the workplace because of the menopause is tragic.

“We are fabulous in our 40s and we are even more fabulous in our 50s, 60s and 70s and we need to celebrate that and keep opportunities going for women.

“Together we can support the thousands of women out there who form the backbone of our workforce.

“We cannot let anyone leave the workplace feeling that they have got to slope off into the shadows. We have to be able to change that.”


Sophie Wessex was speaking as part of a discussion to launch the Menopause Workplace Pledge scheme which is designed to encourage employers to make workplaces more friendly to women.

Menopause is rarely discussed as the stigma around it leads women to suffer in silence.

The Sun are determined to change that, launching the Fabulous Menopause Matters campaign to give the taboo a long-awaited kick, and get women the support they need.

Fabulous Menopause Matters

An estimated one in five of the UK’s population are currently experiencing it.

Yet the menopause is still whispered in hush tones like it’s something to be embarrassed about. 

The stigma attached to the transition means women have been suffering in silence for centuries. 

The Sun are determined to change that, launching the Fabulous Menopause Matters campaign to give the taboo a long-awaited kick, and get women the support they need.

The campaign has three aims:

  • To make HRT free in England
  • To get every workplace to have a menopause policy to provide support
  • To bust taboos around the menopause

The campaign has been backed by a host of influential figures including Baroness Karren Brady CBE, celebrities Lisa Snowdon, Jane Moore, Michelle Heaton, Zoe Hardman, Saira Khan, Trisha Goddard, as well as Dr Louise Newson, Carolyn Harris MP, Jess Phillips MP, Caroline Nokes MP and Rachel Maclean MP. 

Exclusive research commissioned by Fabulous, which surveyed 2,000 British women aged 45-65 who are going through or have been through the menopause, found that 49% of women suffered feelings of depression, while 7% felt suicidal while going through the menopause. 

50% of respondents said there is not enough support out there for menopausal women, which is simply not good enough. It’s time to change that. 

Plus, my neighbour left her son with me to go to the shops, she never came back and I raised him as my own.

And, a 46-year-old woman who had her tubes tied reveals that she still got pregnant and had no idea until labour.

Meanwhile, a mum says woman can have it all, as she wakes up at 4:40am to look after her eight kids and run her business.

Penny Lancaster breaks down in tears as she reveals menopause anxiety


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