Naomi Watts nearly collapsed when she was told she was nearing menopause at the age of 36.

The 21 Grams actress, 54, who got married for the first time in 2023 to Watchmen actor Billy Crudup, 55, was trying to get pregnant with her former partner, actor Liev Schreiber, 56, when tests revealed years ago she was almost menopausal.

She told Marie Claire in a cover interview with the magazine about her shock when she got the news: “I practically fell off my chair. I’m being told I’m close to menopause when I’m just feeling ready to get pregnant. How can those things live together at once?”

Naomi said the moment led to her recalling her mom Myfanwy had told her she’d gone through menopause early.

She added: “I left the [doctor’s] office in pieces and rang my mom and said, ‘What the hell? How come you didn’t tell me more?’”

It turned out the star’s mom went through menopause at 45 but had started having symptoms years earlier, but had not discussed it in depth.

She told Naomi she hadn’t opened up about it because her own mom hadn’t had those conversations with her.

Naomi said: “It was clear to me that there was this code of silence. Aren’t we all headed here at some point? Why is there no available conversation or proper education on this?

“The average age for menopause is 51 and I was much earlier than that.

“No one wants to feel less than average, so I backed off very quickly and that made me feel very lonely and very scared.

“Also, particularly being in the industry that I’m in, it felt like a big secret to live with. The shame was a big thing.”

Despite being told she might need a donor egg to have a baby, and after struggling to get pregnant with multiple other interventions, Naomi and her ex Liev conceived naturally, with their first child Sasha born in 2007, and their second, Kai, in late 2008.

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Gallery Credit: Claire Epting

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