Women feel invisible to the opposite sex at the age of 51, it emerged yesterday.
A detailed study of 2,000 women revealed a large percentage felt they no longer received the level of attention they once did after hitting 51.
Many even went as far as to admit they felt ‘ignored’.
The women claimed their confidence plummeted after hitting 50 and blamed greying hair, having to to wear glasses or even struggling to find fashionable clothes.
The lifestyle study, commissioned by herbal remedies company, A.Vogel, also found more than two thirds of women over 45 had walked into a room and felt ‘completely unnoticed’ by the opposite sex.
More than half said they felt ‘left on the shelf’ and that they’d been ‘judged negatively’ because of their age.
Health expert Eileen Durward, who provides advice and support to women through the A.Vogel website and helpline, said: ”The results show a worrying decline in confidence and self-worth in women when faced with the prospect of growing older.
”The world can feel very geared toward appreciating younger women, leaving those of a certain age to feel neglected or less worthy.
“These women are not invisible and neither are their concerns.
”They are often the driving engine behind many a family, juggling careers, looking after older relatives and bringing up children.
”All the while dealing with the ageing process and changes brought on by the menopause.
”They need to be supported, not made to feel washed up.”
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The study also found just 15 per cent of women over 45 could claim they had high or very high confidence while, sadly, nearly half described themselves as not very confident at all.
The biggest reason for a decline in self-belief was the feeling that their image had deteriorated.
A dejected four in ten said not getting attention from men like they used to was a factor, more than half had felt intimidated by the presence of younger women at a social event.
A concerned six in ten of the 2,000 studied felt modern life is geared toward a focus on younger women while 46 per cent thought that a lot of what older women go through wasn’t seen or spoken about.
The research also examined the effect the menopause has on women’s confidence as they age.
The results showed around one in five who had experienced menopausal symptoms had difficulty in finding answers to the questions they had about the changes they were facing.
In fact, only 13 per cent felt women were well supported in the lead up to the menopause.
The research, which also involved 500 men, showed many have a ‘head in the sand’ approach to the menopause.
Eileen Durward, who is also an expert on menopause, added: ”Women need to know they are not alone and there are things they can do to help themselves.
“Hot flushes are a good example of something that can have a real impact on confidence, especially in social situations or at work.
”Many women don’t realise that simple steps, like breathing slowly or taking a herbal remedy containing sage, can provide relief.”
For further information on dealing with the menopause visit the A.Vogel Menopause Health Hub: www.avogel.co.uk/health/