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Naomi Watts reveals her horror at discovering she was in perimenopause while starting a family 

Naomi Watts has recalled the horror she felt after discovering that she was in perimenopause just as she was planning to start a family.

The actress, now 54, tied the knot with Liev Schreiber in 2005, and they soon began trying for a baby. However, when the movie star’s doctor told her that she had entered into perimenopause – which is the time right before a woman’s body begins menopause – she was terrified. 

Watts, who was in her late 30s at the time, was able to welcome two sons – however she recalled the sheer ‘panic’ she felt just from hearing the word ‘menopause’ during a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, especially because of the intense ‘secrecy and shame’ surrounding the condition. 

Naomi Watts (seen in 2007) has recalled the intense ‘panic’ she felt after discovering that she was in perimenopause just as she was planning to start a family

The actress, now 54, tied the knot with Liev Schreiber in 2005, and they soon began trying for a baby. The couple is pictured in 2005

The actress, now 54, tied the knot with Liev Schreiber in 2005, and they soon began trying for a baby. The couple is pictured in 2005

However, when the movie star's doctor told her that she had entered into perimenopause, she was terrified. She is seen in February 2022

However, when the movie star’s doctor told her that she had entered into perimenopause, she was terrified. She is seen in February 2022

‘I heard the word menopause mentioned to me right at the precipice of when I wanted to start creating a family, so you can imagine the panic,’ she told the outlet, adding that she got so scared she began ‘flailing around.’

‘I did have in the back of my mind that my mom had gone [into menopause] early; she said [it happened] at 45 but gave me no details surrounding it.’

While Watts was able to welcome two sons - Alexander was born in 2007 and Samuel came one year later (pictured together in 2015) - she told Entertainment Weekly that it was not easy for her, especially because of the intense 'secrecy and shame' surrounding the condition

While Watts was able to welcome two sons – Alexander was born in 2007 and Samuel came one year later (pictured together in 2015) – she told Entertainment Weekly that it was not easy for her, especially because of the intense ‘secrecy and shame’ surrounding the condition

Watts and Schreiber welcomed their son Alexander in 2007, and Samuel was born one year later. 

While hormones do begin to change during perimenopause, a woman’s ability to have a child doesn’t stop until she enters menopause.

After the birth of her second son – when she was 40 years old – Watts told the outlet that she ‘swiftly’ started ‘the real version’ of menopause, and while she tried to normalize conversations around it by bringing it up to her peers, she soon realized that the ‘door was not open’ to talk about it with other women.

‘I did feel very private about it. I didn’t speak to too many people. I tried to open the conversation with a few people around me, and it was sort of met with, “Oh, right,” or nervous laughter or something,’ she shared.

‘It just didn’t feel like the door was open at all. I was having night sweats, so the sleeplessness and with two small babies – was not an easy time.’

The Impossible alum recently teamed up with Em & Friends to create a collection of hilarious menopause greeting cards in an attempt to ‘end the stigma’ around it.

She is also launching a menopause wellness brand, called Stripes, on October 18. 

‘Health and wellness have always been something I’m very drawn to. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was like, “I’ve gotta do something,”‘ she told EW about her decision to start the company.

‘I was pretty sure there was a space for something to happen in a different way, where [women could talk about menopause] and not have this same retelling of it as a spooky, scary, painful time. Like, “It’s all downhill from here!” I wanted it to be fun. 

'I heard the word menopause mentioned to me right at the precipice of when I wanted to start creating a family, so you can imagine the panic,' Watts (pictured with Schrieber in 2008) said

‘I heard the word menopause mentioned to me right at the precipice of when I wanted to start creating a family, so you can imagine the panic,’ Watts (pictured with Schrieber in 2008) said

After the birth of her second son in 2008 (pictured) - when she was 40 years old - Watts told the outlet that she 'swiftly' started 'the real version' of menopause

After the birth of her second son in 2008 (pictured) – when she was 40 years old – Watts told the outlet that she ‘swiftly’ started ‘the real version’ of menopause

The Impossible alum recently teamed up with Em & Friends to create a collection of hilarious menopause greeting cards in an attempt to 'end the stigma' around it

The Impossible alum recently teamed up with Em & Friends to create a collection of hilarious menopause greeting cards in an attempt to ‘end the stigma’ around it

‘If you open that door just a little bit, you’ll be surprised by how many people are really ready to talk about [menopause]. 

‘Humor diffuses awkwardness and pain – we know that to be true already. And certainly, that was how I saw the vision of the brand. It had to have humor. 

What age do women start menopause? 

  • Menopause usually begins between ages 45 and 55 in women, and the average age for onset is 51  
  • While it is rare, it is possible that it can occur when someone is in their 20s or 30s – known as premature menopause
  • Menopause in your 30s happens in about one per cent of women, while menopause in your 20s happens in about 0.1 per cent of women 
  • It usually lasts about seven years but can be as long as 14 years
  • The duration can depend on lifestyle factors such as smoking, age it begins, and race and ethnicity
  • Symptoms include changes to our period, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, chills and night sweats, weight gain, a loss of bladder control, trouble sleeping, and mood changes
  • Sources: Nia.Nih,gov and My Cleveland Clinic 

 

‘We want it to be a place that people come and b***h and moan and have real feelings but also laugh at ourselves and make it somehow more bearable.’

According to Nia.Nih.gov, menopause usually begins between ages 45 and 55 in women, and the average age of onset is 51.

While it is rare, it is possible that it can occur when someone is in their 20s or 30s – something known as premature menopause. 

‘It usually lasts about seven years but can be as long as 14 years. The duration can depend on lifestyle factors such as smoking, age it begins, and race and ethnicity,’ the outlet added. 

Symptoms include changes to our period, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, chills and night sweats, weight gain, a loss of bladder control, trouble sleeping, and mood changes. 

While chatting with EW, Watts – who landed her first major role in the flick Mulholland Drive in 2001, when she was 33 years old – recalled being told that she only had a few years left in the industry as women become ‘unf**kable’ when they turn 40.

‘I was told, “You better get a lot done because it’s all over at 40 when you become unf**kable,”‘ she revealed.

‘And I’m like, “What? What does that mean exactly?” Then you think about it, and you go, “Oh, right. When you are no longer reproductive, when those organs are no longer functioning, you are not sexy, so, therefore, you are not hirable.” That just made me so mad.’

She also pointed out that the same standards don’t apply to men in Hollywood.

‘It’s such an awkward conversation because, from day one, we begin our aging process. It’s something we just all have to get comfortable with and women are asked to do it more than men,’ she added.

‘We don’t talk about a man aging hardly ever. We don’t talk about his gray hair. In fact, if we do, it’s like, “Oh, he gets more handsome, more desirable, more powerful.” 

While chatting with EW, Watts (seen in 2001) recalled being told that she only had a few years left in the industry when she was in her 30s, as women become 'unf**kable' when they turn 40

While chatting with EW, Watts (seen in 2000) recalled being told that she only had a few years left in the industry when she was in her 30s, as women become 'unf**kable' when they turn 40

Watts (seen in the early 2000s) recalled being told that she only had a few years left in the industry when she was in her 30s, as women become ‘unf**kable’ when they turn 40

She also pointed out that the same standards don't apply to men in Hollywood. Watts (seen in 1999) said: 'We don't talk about a man aging. If we do, it's like, "Oh, he gets more desirable"'

She also pointed out that the same standards don’t apply to men in Hollywood. Watts (seen in 1999) said: ‘We don’t talk about a man aging. If we do, it’s like, “Oh, he gets more desirable”‘

‘And why is he powerful? Because he’s accumulated experiences. Well, it should be the same for women.

‘We’ve got important and powerful experiences as well at this age that we should feel proud of.’

Now, she’s ready to put an end to the ‘confusion and the mystery’ surrounding menopause.

‘The mission of the brand is to end the stigma, and get rid of the confusion and the mystery, and to debunk myths,’ Watts explained.   

‘We want to get it as normalized as we possibly can because we’re living longer. We live decades after menopause, which is not the case of how it used to be. It really has to become an open conversation.’

The actress previously spoke out about going into menopause ‘far too early,’ calling it ‘a shock’ that she ‘wasn’t prepared for’ during an interview with Page Six in June.

She also said that one of most severe symptoms that she was faced was ‘really itchy skin.’

She said: ‘My skin is obviously very important to me because of work on camera. I had multiple other symptoms but that was the one that I need immediate attention.’

‘It’s gone on for far too long,’ she added. ‘Women have been forced to silence themselves and feel ashamed. But it’s been the plan for the body all along. It’s not a failure, it’s not a disease.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk