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Naomi Watts opens about 'spiraling' due to her early onset of menopause at 36: 'I went into panic'

The now 54-year-old actress is determined to raise awareness and encourage more honest conversations around the subject.

Naomi Watts opens about 'spiraling' due to her early onset of menopause at 36: 'I went into panic'
Cover Image Source: Naomi Watts attends the 2018 TriBeCa Ball at the New York Academy of Art on April 9, 2018, in New York City—Getty Images | Jamie McCarthy

It's important for women not to feel ashamed when sharing their narratives about health. Naomi Watts candidly discussed how she went through early menopause at age 36, admitting that it was a lot more difficult not having much information about it. The now 54-year-old actress opened up to Hello! magazine saying she suffered from “mood swings, night sweats and migraines. I was feeling like I was spiraling out of control." The "Goodnight Mommy" actress had to become her “own best advocate” to push through the “challenging period of adjustment.”


 
 
 
 
 
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“I truly believe that if menopause hadn’t been such an off-limits topic when I first started experiencing symptoms, I would’ve had an easier transition,” she added. “I was part of a cycle that desperately needed to be broken. There was a lack of open conversation and resources to help women navigate the changes we go through. That’s why I’m now so passionate about raising awareness and encouraging more honest conversations.”

Image Source: Naomi Watts speaks onstage during The Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything Festival at Spring Studios on May 02, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Wall Street Journal )
Image Source: Naomi Watts speaks onstage during The Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything Festival at Spring Studios on May 02, 2023, in New York City—Getty Images | Dimitrios Kambouris

Menopause is defined as twelve months without menstruation. Perimenopause also called the menopausal transition occurs when the body makes the natural transition to menopause. Symptoms can include hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, insomnia, and irregular periods. Watts reflected on her struggles while making the transition in October 2022 at The New Pause Symposium in New York City.

"I found myself at 36 and perimenopausal, a word I didn't even know about, and at the precipice of trying to start a family. So I went into complete panic, felt very lonely, very much less-than or like some kind of failure and what was I going to do? There was no one to talk to, and there was no information, basically on my visit to the doctor, who said, 'Well you're not getting pregnant your bloodwork is indicating that you're close to menopause' so I was freaking out," she said, per PEOPLE.



 

Fortunately, there are now a lot more resources that can help people in similar situations but 18 years ago the Mulholland Drive star went through "anxiety, shame, confusion, panic." She said she "managed to fall pregnant naturally after two years of trying and getting my system right with different alternatives since I wasn't a candidate for IVF."

"After the second child, I went through massive night sweats, hot flashes and I thought 'This is terrible,' and I would try to test out the community of my friends and I was sort of met with nervous laughs and shrugging it off, and I thought 'Oh wow no one else is there, I better keep silent,' and that's how it was." The actress added, "I just knew that this is a road that no one else should have to walk through alone again without a community because, without proper care taken, you are going to turn in on yourself."


 
 
 
 
 
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Earlier this year, she recreated the tampon ad she was in at 15 to raise awareness about menopause symptoms. A young Watts is shown in an Instagram post with her hand under her chin with the question "When can I start using tampons?" over her head. Watts is still in the same pose in the new image, but the question now says, "When can I start using lube?" In the caption she wrote, "Let's get real, take menopause and yes, dry va-jay-jay’s, mainstream. Unapologetically so! More than 1 billion people worldwide will be menopausal by 2025. That’s a whole lot of dry."


 
 
 
 
 
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