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'It changes everything' Comedian Jennifer Saunders opens up about her experience with menopause

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Jennifer Saunders
Absolutely Fabulous actress Jennifer Saunders has spoken candidly about her experience with the menopause for a BBC documentary, and it seems she's taken a distinctly 'Edina' approach to dealing with it.

In the documentary Menopause and Me, hosted by BBC presenter Kirsty Wark, Jennifer said that she didn't shy away from the less-than-glamorous parts of menopause, explaining that she 'just got on with it'.

'It changes everything, it changes your metabolism, your energy levels, your skin, your hair, everything. It was quite astonishing,' the 58-year-old admitted.

'I'm very good at sleeping but the first time I had a hot sweat it did take me by surprise, I kept wondering what I was sitting on. It felt like I was sitting on a radiator.'

However, the Absolutely Fabulous star was also keen to put across some of the upsides of the process, saying: 'I don't feel any less intelligent, in fact I am probably more confident.'

'I feel much more positive and confident for my own abilities of things.'

Saunders was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, and had a chemically induced menopause during her second year of chemotherapy. She admits that that once her periods stopped, she 'had no idea what was coming out of chemo and what was menopause.'

'You're so full of chemicals you really have no idea... it's like, the tiniest thing that's happening to you, compared to everything else that's happening.'


Jennifer pictured with her Ab Fab co-star Joanna Lumley

Mum to daughters Beattie, Ella and Freya, Jennifer found fame with her comedy duo parter Dawn French in the 1980s, and then went on to write and star as Edina in the smash hit comedy Ab Fab with Joanna Lumley in the 1990s.

In one episode from 2001, Eddie's sidekick Patsy learns she has osteoporosis, a condition often linked to menopause.

'All the things I used to make jokes about are so true,' she told Kirsty during their interview. 'Just your place in the world and how you feel about yourself, your general feeling of sexiness, your libido.'

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'It's an indefinable something that you don't have any more. But for me I feel completely able that I can do what I want to do.'

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