Penny Lancaster is thankful for her husband Sir Rod Stewart's support as she deals with the menopause.

Penny Lancaster with her husband Rod Stewart

Penny Lancaster with her husband Rod Stewart

The 51-year-old star is determined to break down the taboo surrounding the menopause and praised her music legend spouse for making men more aware of the issue by backing the Menopause Mandate campaign – which has been championed by Penny and TV presenters Davina McCall and Mariella Frostrup.

Penny told The Daily Telegraph newspaper: "First of all he had empathy towards me and how I was suffering from it. We've always been good at communicating with one another and explaining how we feel, so he got to understand.

"Then he wanted to encourage men to sit up and take note. He's going: 'This isn't just a women's problem. We need to recognise it.' It affects husbands, partners, children."

The 'Loose Women' panellist recalled how she suffered "major meltdowns" as the symptoms began to impact on her.

Penny – who shares sons Alastair, 16, and Aiden, 11, with Rod - said: "I had a couple of major meltdowns. I couldn't justify my feelings and emotions, couldn't pull myself out of it and would collapse into a ball of tears of frustration and scream, which is not like me at all."

The model started to experience hot flushes during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and feared the worst initially.

Penny explained: "We were all terrified that anyone who gets (COVID) could die, and the fear of that exacerbated my feelings of anxiety."

She started receiving treatment in the form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) but fears the current shortage in the UK will have a bad impact on her.

Penny said: "I needed a new prescription and they said, 'I'm sorry but we're out of stock.

"I'm warning my husband and children I might take a reverse turn."

The shortage is expected to be solved by June but that is of little comfort to Penny.

She said: "June is a long time for a lot of women to have to wait to feel better."