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Every time Naomi Watts has gotten candid about her premature menopause

The Australian-British actress is a staunch advocate for the de-stigmatisation of menopause.

Menopause is by far one of the biggest changes our bodies will go through as women and we’re only really just starting to properly learn about it and discuss it. One of the biggest advocates for demystifying and destigmatising discussions around menopause is Australian-British actress Naomi Watts.

Naomi, who went through premature menopause at 36 years old, has been candid about her health journey over the years. She also launched a beauty brand, Stripes, which has a range of dedicated products for women going through menopause.

“I started late by Hollywood standards – I was 31 when Mulholland Drive finally launched,” the actress recalled during The Hollywood Reporter roundtable.

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“I was also told, ‘It’s going to be over by 40, so work, work, work.’ And then, when I was at the precipice of wanting to start a family, I was 36, I was told I was close to menopause. I went into this frantic panic, a lot of shame and fear.”

She’s also been a vocal advocate for destigmatising not only premature menopause but menopause itself.

“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,” Naomi told Hello in an interview.

“I felt like I was losing my mind, and I was definitely losing what it felt like to be “myself”. I’d been in my body for 36 years. Until then, I thought I knew myself pretty well. It was incredibly isolating to feel so out of control.”

What is premature menopause?

In a nutshell, menopause is your final menstrual cycle, it means you have not had a period in over 12 months. Whilst the average age for the start of menopause is 51 in Australia, sometimes women can start to undergo menopause before 40. This is known as premature menopause and is estimated to affect 1 in every 100 women.

Some causes for premature menopause include:

  • Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI)
  • Cancer treatment including chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Surgical menopause as a result of cancer or extreme endometriosis

What are menopause symptoms?

It’s well-documented that menopause will bring about hot flushes and sweats, but Professor Susan Davis says that there are a handful of other symptoms too. Though some sources may tell you that there can be anywhere up to 100 different menopause symptoms, Professor Davis says that there are six signs that can alert a woman to the fact that she may be perimenopausal or undergoing menopause. These include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Poor sleep
  • Agitation
  • Loss of sexual interest
  • Vaginal dryness

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