Naomi Watts Says Getting Menopause Diagnosis at 36 Was “Not Easy”

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BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Naomi Watts attends the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Cindy Ord/VF23/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Naomi Watts is tired of the silence surrounding menopause. In a July 24 interview with Hello! Magazine, Watts spoke about being diagnosed with early menopause at the age of 36, and the importance of candid conversation. “Going through menopause at such a young age was not easy, especially during a time when there was so little information available about it,” she said, describing her physical and emotional symptoms, from mood swings to migraines. “I was feeling like I was spiraling out of control.”

Watts, who recently partnered with Menopause Mandate to provide women with increased perimenopause and menopause support, went on to say that the general lack of education made navigating her own health much more difficult. “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 said. “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.”

“I was part of a cycle that desperately needed to be broken”

In October 2022, Watts spoke about her passion to end the stigma around menopause, telling InStyle that her journey started after she started developing symptoms of perimenopause. With the exception of a helpful makeup artist, Watts found herself struggling to discuss these new and uncomfortable changes with anyone.

Watts didn’t fully realize what was happening to her body until she and her then-partner, Liev Schreiber, went to get a blood panel done in an effort to conceive a child. “I knew that there are changes to the body around the age of 35, but I didn’t know that it was a really late time to start thinking about getting pregnant,” Watts said.

With the help of her doctor, she did eventually get pregnant, giving birth to her now 15-year-old, Sasha, and soon after, she got pregnant for a second time, which did intensify her perimenopause symptoms. “I just knew it was not a good thing to be walking through the same kind of loneliness and secrecy and shame again,” Watts said. “I did test the waters with friends out there by cracking jokes about menopause, and they weren’t really met with open ears and empathy. It was just like, let’s move on to the next subject.”

Now, Watts is dedicated to creating a future in which people do not have to endure the pain of menopause alone. As she noted in her InStyle interview, hers may be one of the first generations to go through menopause with true internet savvy, and she hopes to use this to her advantage. “There’s never really been a platform for [this],” she said. “It feels like an intergenerational thing that we’re doing because we’re now realizing what our mothers and grandmothers went through in silence, alone. And we’re saying we’re not going to remain silent through our suffering.”

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