Naomi Watts recreates the tampon ad she starred in when she was 15 to get people talking about menopause

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Naomi Watts is tired of menopause being a taboo subject. (PHOTO: Gallo Images)
Naomi Watts is tired of menopause being a taboo subject. (PHOTO: Gallo Images)

Actress Naomi Watts is determined to end the stigma around menopause and the unpleasant side effects that go with it, specifically vaginal dryness.  

The 54-year-old tackled the taboo topic on her Instagram by recreating a Johnson & Johnson tampon ad she starred in at the age of 15, which featured the caption: “When can I start using tampons?”

Using a more recent photo, Naomi replaced the text with “When can I start using lube?”

Comparing the two snaps, the star remarked that she feels people are more comfortable talking about periods than they are about menopause.

“When it comes to the adult version of hormonal change, people get thrust into the shadows of secrecy and shame, with a total lack of information or misinformation,” she says.

The actress and owner of menopause beauty and wellness brand Stripes disputes the idea of menopause signifying the end of a woman’s life.

“Just because it’s the end of one’s reproductive life doesn’t mean to say you’re invisible or irrelevant,” she says.  In fact, I wanted to have it be reminded that this is the beginning of a new point.”

Naomi, who was born in Britain and grew up in Australia, recently opened up about the loneliness of going into early menopause at the age of 35.

“No one else in my age group was talking about it,” says the star, who had an 11-year romance with actor Liev Schreiber and is now in a long-term relationship with her Gypsy co-star, Billy Crudup.

That's why she started her company which sells products such as lubricants, cooling sprays and vaginal probiotics that help alleviate difficulties associated with menopause, such as dryness.

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“Unfortunately, there is a lot of stigma about lube. Some people are even made to feel as if there is something wrong with them for liking and/or needing lube,” says gynaecologist Dr Jen Gunter.

The actress started her company, Stripes, that sells products that help relieve symptoms of menopause. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

According to Mayo Clinic menopause is diagnosed after a year of no menstrual period and it happens to women from their 40s.

However, any diagnosis before that is considered early menopause.

READ MORE| Why hormonal therapy can change your life if you're menopausal

Vaginal dryness is common and may start as soreness, burning, itching and more frequent urinary tract infections as well as painful sex. However, women are often too embarrassed to discuss the issue.

It's this attitude that Naomi is wanting to change. She urges people to be open and honest about menopause and the very real life changes that it brings.


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