The secret of Lorraine's successful sex life at 61

Lorraine Kelly arriving at the Virgin Money Giving Mind Media Awards, Odeon Leicester Square, London. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
Lorraine Kelly (Empics Entertainment)

For some, menopause is the signal to turn off their sex drive at the plug, and retire to bed in fleecy pyjamas. Increasingly, however, women are rejecting the old stereotypes and maintaining a happy and active sexuality through menopause and way beyond.

This week, TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, 61, told The Mirror that her sex life with husband of 30 years Steve Smith, is "toddling along nicely".

This hasn't always been the case, she revealed, explaining that menopause hit her hard, physically and mentally.

Read more: Lorraine Kelly and Rosie Smith on podcasts, puppies and Gogglebox

She explained that the couple were on a lovely, much-needed holiday a few years ago, and due to meet up with friends. "But I felt ... joyless," she recalled.

"My husband said, 'This is not you, is anything bothering you, what are you worried about?' - because he's great, I can talk to him about anything - and I said, 'I honestly don't know'." She also felt 'crippling' anxiety, which she had never suffered from previously, she added.

Lorraine Kelly, husband Steve Smith and daughter Rosie attend a party to celebrate Lorraine Kelly's 30 Years in Breakfast Television, the Langham Hotel, London.
Lorraine Kelly, husband Steve Smith and daughter Rosie together. (Reuters)

Kelly spoke to her co-star Dr Hilary Jones on her return, and discovered that she was menopausal. She started to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and found it helped her enormously, evening out her moods and reducing anxiety, as well as helping her rediscover her sex life.

A few years on, she says, she feels like herself again.

Talking about her sex life, she explained: "For me, HRT helped everything toddle along nicely in that department.

"Even if you decide against HRT, there are alternative remedies. You lose your waist as you get older, but HRT helped with this.

Watch: How Lorraine Kelly was told she'd never be on TV

"(It's) brilliant. I put a patch on my bum twice a week," she explained. "Within two weeks of starting it, I felt better. Steve said, 'I’ve got you back again'. HRT helped everything go well in that department.”

Kelly has been happily married to Smith since 1992 and they have a daughter, Rosie, 27, a journalist.

They met on a show Kelly was working on, and she has said she immediately knew he was 'the one.' They have stayed close by remaining down to earth, she admits.

"We’re not 'showbiz' types, so instead of attending the fancy Bond premiere, we went to a small screening so we could wear tracksuits and drink coffee."

Athletics - Virgin London Marathon 2010 - London - 25/4/10 
Lorraine Kelly (L) and her husband Steve Smith after completing the London Marathon 
Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Paul Harding 
Lorraine and Steve at The London Marathon in 2010. (Action Images/Livepic)

They also "never go to bed on an argument."

'Lorraine is now keen to advise other women that menopause doesn't have to mean misery.

"Even if you decide against HRT, there are lots of alternative remedies to help. You lose your waist as you get older, but HRT helped (me) with this.

"During lockdown I ate too much, didn’t exercise enough, and I’ve gone up a dress size. But I’m not beating myself up over a few extra pounds," said Kelly. "I was never hired for my looks, but I feel I’ve grown into them over the years. Back in the 80s and 90s I looked a right shocker!"

Read more: Three amazing women who help us realise that hitting 50 (and beyond) is no bad thing

The much loved presenter has joked about sex in the past, including an awkward moment on her show earlier this year.

Talking to Loose Women panellist Coleen Nolan and presenter Scarlett Moffatt, she admitted, "I keep my bra on all the time, I even sleep in it."

As the guests looked astonished, she hastily added, "I do take it off for what-not!"

Getting a bit older doesn't have to mean switching off sex. (Getty Images)
Getting a bit older doesn't have to mean switching off sex. (Getty Images)

She also joked with Eamonn Holmes this summer.

Chatting with him and Ruth Langsford about what was coming up on This Morning, Holmes said: “Sex / Life Lorraine. Sex Life… not ours, it’s a big show on Netflix."

Kelly joked: “I have no idea what you’re talking about… it’s all behind me!”

Seemingly, thanks to the power of HRT, it's not quite yet – for Lorraine or the many other 50, 60 and 70 something women defying the stereotypes and enjoying themselves.

Watch: Penny Lancaster breaks down in tears as she talks about menopause