Kate Walsh Reveals She Went Through Early Menopause: ‘I’m Not Going to Have Kids’

11/18/2015 at 06:51 PM ET

Kate Walsh is opening up about going through early menopause, which she says closed the door on her having children.

“I don’t have children. I’m not going to have kids. I went through early menopause. That happened,” Walsh said on SiriusXM’s Conversations with Maria Menounos Wednesday.

Walsh, 48, says going through early menopause is becoming “more and more common” for women.

“Who knows why. It could be a product of our environment. The pill, we don’t know,” she explains.

Kate Walsh early menopause
John Sciulli/Getty

After Walsh’s older sister went through early menopause, she advised the actress to get checked. Although Walsh had her doubts, she agreed to make an appointment.

“It was bleak. But that was a great kind of experience and growth,” she says. “I’ve always felt I’ve been, at times in my life, indecisive or have hard times making decisions. I go for what I want and I also embrace what’s in front of me.”

The Grey’s Anatomy alum also spoke about the notion of a woman “having it all” — both career and children.

“I don’t know if you can actually have it all. I think that is actually this American myth. I wouldn’t call it a dream,” she says. “I think it’s a bit of a myth in that it’s this huge pressure. We’re like, ‘Wait a minute, am I less than if I’m not a mother? If I’m not a rock star in my career?’ I don’t know. I’m just rambling. This is what I ponder.”

In 2011, following her divorce from film exec Alex Young, Walsh opened up about wanting to have children.

“I feel like a loser [for not having kids]. I would definitely love to be a parent,” Walsh told More magazine at the time. “But I definitely don’t think I want to do it on my own.”

She added that she always imagined she’d “be married and have three or four kids.”

Conversations with Maria Menounos broadcasts weekedays (1 p.m. ET) on Stars channel 109.


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Showing 49 comments

Anonymous on

she can adopt

wil on

48 is too late for kids anyway, and not that early for menopause.

thastle on

the first paragraph says “opening up” and later we see “opened up.” In both cases, she woman simply spoke. Why not use “talked” or “said?”

Paige on

I like Kate Walsh but feel she and the media do a deep disservice to the concept of ADOPTION! Just because you can’t have a biological child (which is an ego-based concept anyway), if you TRULY want to have children, there are hundreds of thousands of children worldwide in need of loving homes. And for a TV star who makes more in one week than many make in a year, there’s no excuse. These women need to become role models for ADOPTION and stop whining about biological clocks.

Karen on

It seems like celebrities feel they have forever to have kids. She likely had 20 plus years to take the leap and didn’t. I feel bad for her, but why someone would take her fertility for granted for so long to only end up with regret is beyond me.

heidi on

i went into early menopause at 36 after years of infertility. i still have three adopted children and four foster children. menopause means nothing if you care more about wanting to be a parent and raise children than experiencing pregnancy and having a biological child.

Anonymous on

As someone who has been on a list to adopt for 2 years now, it is not that easy to “just adopt.” It’s quite a process, very emotional, and in a way kind of violating all the tests and info you have to divulge. Not everyone feels called to adopt, and in my and my husband’s case, are not necessarily chosen by a birth mother. We’re not giving up, and there is still time, but until you go through it, I think it’s easy to say someone should be an ambassador for adoption. It’s just not that black and white.

MnNice on

There are age limits to adoption, in this country and abroad. Most countries will not adopt to people over 40. There are a few ways women over 40 can have their own kids, IVF with donated embryos that couples donate so that other people have them, or IVF with donor eggs. I looked into adoption after early menopause and it was not an option. It is actually cheaper and faster to try IVF than pay expensive adoption fees and wait for years.

Rally on

She left an important piece of the puzzle out. At what age did she go into early menopause? Was it in 2011 after she discussed wanting kids? That would have put her at 44 then. Or is it now when she is 48? Most women go into menopause when they are around 50. Early 40’s is early to go into menopause. But everyone is different.

Notsofast on

Everyone is commenting that age 48 is not too early for menopause. The article states she is 48 years old, but not WHEN she went through menopause. She could have gone through it at age 40.

Meena on

I can relate to pretty much everything she says. I went through menopause at 42. I do have one child but some of the other parts of “having it all” never came together for me. As I get older, I realize that no one’s life turns out exactly as we planned or hoped it will be. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though.

It's Possible on

A friend of mine was already in menopause when she had help getting pregnant. It was at a clinic with donated egg/sperm. She was able to screen and choose the donors so they had similar features to her. It provided the gift of being able to experience pregnancy and she is now an amazing Mom to gorgeous twins. Not sure how many women realize this option is available?

Ally on

Every body works differently. I’m going through it right now at age 40. My doctor says it’s not a problem, it’s just unusual. I hope Kate either considers adoption or gets involved in some children’s charities if she’s feeling that void in her life.

Diane on

I can relate. I’m 46 and going through menopause now. My mother went through it even earlier than I, 42 I believe. I was blessed with my son who recently turned 7. My sister is 37, married and they keep putting off children. You never know what life has in store for you. It never goes ‘according to plan’. I don’t think Kate is going through it now, at 48. But whatever the case, she wanted children, but waited too late. It wasn’t meant to be.

J on

She didn’t state how old she was when she found out she was going through early menopause. Early menopause = age 20-40. Also, some people want biological children and do not want to adopt. Why is that so horrible? It’s their choice.

Megan on

I’m all for bringing issues to light about oneself in the hopes of helping others….but THIS?!?!?
Really? Keep that s h I t to yourself girlfriend. Ain’t nobody tryin to hear you talk about this s h I t.

J on

@Megan, how about not reading an article you’re not interested in? Nobody made you click on the link, right?

Tamryn17 on

Leave the lady alone. If she chose not to have children, biological or adopted, that is her business. Reproducing is not required for every single woman on the planet who is able to do so.

JoDee stott on

I would only like to share my experience…it might not be for everyone but….I have been blessed with both experiences…. I have a biological child and two adopted children that are full siblings, adopted both at 3 days old. I truly can’t understand not wanting to adopt…I love and bonded with all three the same at birth…even given that pregnancy and birth are so intimate. I do know the adoption process can be emotionally hard and there can be some apprehension…but you would be amazed at what happens to those feelings once your baby is in your arms…don’t give up…your baby will find you:)

Jessica J on

Thank you Mrs Walsh for sharing your diagnoses and fertility struggles with the world. I wish the article would have shared what age you were diagnosed. I was diagnosed at the age of 27 with POF:Premature Ovarian Failure (early menopause) it’s a hard thing to deal the symptoms are tough not only on us women but our spouses too. Infertility is the saddest part of the diagnoses. Whether you chose other means toward a child is totally a personal decision. Wish you nothing but health and happiness! God Bless.

JoDee stott on

Btw…I have never heard of not being able to adopt over age 40…adopted one at 42 and my second one
at 44….hmmmmmm.

Jill on

oh my gosh, I can relate to Kate. I never thought I’d be single at my age, or childless for that matter. I fieared doing it alone and now that I’m 42 I feel I have missed the boat. I’ve had fertility issues and wish I would have done this a lot sooner However, she can absolutely adopt, it is not too late. For people to think adoption makes you ‘less a mother’, that is horrible. I also don’t feel I get taken seriously because I don’t have kids but I’ve taken care of other’s children and I can do the job just as well as anyone. I’m also not expected to ever be out sick as opposed to co-workers who are out all of the time. Ugh, such a stigma to be a (successful) childless woman.

myuntidydesk on

Yes… she could adopt, but some people have it in their head that a child must have their DNA.

Beat on

This is heartbreaking to read. I recall when I’d read an article w/ her years ago, she’d recently been divorced and had stated she’d wanted children and be married, so she expressed concern that she may not have children b/c she had more traditional beliefs. I went through early menopause before 40 and it DOES do a job on the mentality and emotions as well as there’s a lot of health issues also tied in with it.. much of it still has uncertainty. Adopting at her age is NOT easy and in many countries, restricted, so I don’t understand why people are posting “Just adopt” . Having no children in your life, if you wanted them… so sad.

rachel on

I have a hard time understanding why women 35+ call it “fertility” issues. The entire adult population knows that fertility declines after age 30 and a huge drop at 35. Yes, many women conceive after 35, but it shouldn’t be shocking if you’re not able to have a baby after the age of 37. At that point it’s not “infertility” its your biological clock slowing down. My heart goes out to those couples who have been trying for years and years on end since their 20s and early 30s. They did make babies a priority. If you don’t think about having a baby until you’re 40 years old then I’m sorry it wasn’t a priority to you, but that ship has sailed.

Dede on

I went through early menopause at age 42 probably related to cancer treatment in my twenties. At age 43 we adopted our first son and at 45 his brother an unplanned pregnancy. I am now turning 57 in January with 12 and 14 yo boys. I was fortunate enough to have a choice to be a stay at home mom and truly after waiting so long to be one did not want anyone else raising my kids. There are always a ton of compromises and society can be cruel but I wouldn’t trade my boys for anything. Dede

Miranda on

Forty eight is NOT an early menopause. This woman is nuts!

yikes! on

I went thru menopause at age 38. I was taking pergonal shots for infertility and the doctor said they weren’t working so I stopped. I never had another period again even though they had always been normal. Luckily we had 2 beautiful children but if we hadn’t we would have adopted – whether it was an infant or not. The best path to adoption is becoming foster parents first.

northerner on

There’s always adoption – lots of beautiful kids in need of someone who wants them and will treat them right. But they need attention and job sometimes suffer. Unless you have an equally committed partner who can take up some of the slack. But having kids is not everything. I don’t have any and don’t regret it for a moment.

Kelly on

Oh boy! I feel sad for women who chose a career over everlasting bonds (I almost fell for it); however, if she truly was meant to be a mom she would have been…although, she can still be motherly to a child and find fulfillment. There will be many more stories like this due to MSM’s message about choosing careers over children. I believe that most women have a motherly instinct, but then again – a few really don’t. It’s sad that she couldn’t find a partner to tell her that everything will be ok, let’s have a baby and learn about the joy and hardships of parenting, even if we break-up in the end. I hope she finds peace with her decision, or lack there of…

Ana on

Why the anti-adoption comments. She said she doesn’t want to do it alone. I don’t think it means she has anything against adoption

Mel on

I love how any time an infertility topic is brought up by the media everyone says “just adopt”. Have any of you ever looked into adoption? It is a huge and expensive process. And why do people criticize a woman for wanting to carry her own child. Many women feel that we were put on this earth to procreate aka growing a human in our uterus.

I do agree with her that women who cannot or choose not to have a child can be made to feel like a “looser”. Do you know how many conversations I have been left out of because I don’t have kids. Not being a mother doesn’t mean you are incomplete.

Kestrel on

She didn’t want to adopt without being married. Why are people so determined that she FAILED by not raising kids? She thought her life would go in one direction – the traditional one – and is now on a different path. Instead of being the spokesperson for adoption, she’s speaking about menopause.
Adoption is NOT RIGHT for everyone. It sounds lovely to say but not all people look at it as a satisfying way to create a family. Of course, if she DID adopt, there would be an outcry that she was too old and she’s a single parent. You can’t win. All you can do is please yourself and she’s doing that. Good for her!

Petra on

I’m laughing at the people below pushing the adoption agenda. Some people want biological kids or NO kids at all. They have NO interest in raising other peoples biological offspring. Also, sadly, many of the biological kids available nowadays are the kids of drug addicts or brain dead teenage mothers. No thanks. It’s not like you are going to be able to adopt the offspring of a model and a lawyer!

Petra on

I’m laughing at the people below pushing the adoption agenda. Some people want biological kids or NO kids at all. They have NO interest in raising other peoples biological offspring. Also, sadly, many of the biological kids available nowadays are the kids of drug addicts or brain dead teenage mothers. No thanks.

bkable on

I think, if you really want it all, you need to be thinking about kids before you’re 48. And, if you really want them, think of ALL your options – not just the biological options. Adoption is fantastic too!

nancy on

Early menopause is between ages 40 and 45…I should know, it happened to me and I don’t use the pill

Guest on

Petra, it is sad that you are so closed minded. I adopted and I attend an annual adoption picnic with families who have adopted kids from all over the world. These kids and parents are so happy. Petra, you can have a biological child and have all sorts of challenges too. What matters is love and parenting.

Charlie on

As someone in perimenopause at 31 due to endometriosis, I’m a bit offended by her lumping herself in with those of us ACTUALLY suffering early menopause. Lady, you’re almost 50.

Also, she is overlooking a lot. Yes, we can adopt. We can also use an egg donor or use donated/adopted embryos. Menopause means that you no longer make eggs, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your uterus.

Anonymous on

My guess is she was at least 44 when she went through ‘early’ menopause…since at that point she still publicly proclaimed a desire to have children. That is early when considering normal but it isn’t like when women go through POF in their 20s or 30s.
Also, adoption is not just domestic newborn adoption or international adoption. You can adopt out of foster care, and when considering ‘need’, those are the kids who are in dire need of parents

Hea on

READ! She is not saying it started at 48! She IS 48. For all we know she was 35.

Adoption is not for everyone. In my country it is hard and very expensive.

guest on

I’ve never wanted to be a mother. I see women with 3 and 4 kids running around in the store and wonder why they would put themselves through that grief. They look disheveled and tired. “Having it all” is overrated. A woman does not have to have kids to be fulfilled. Fulfillment comes from within. Kids can’t do that.

Kay on

To Heidi: Your comment brought tears to my eyes!! Wonderful!! 🙂

Irene B on

For anyone that says “just adopt”. Why don’t YOU “just adopt” instead of having biological children? It’s hard enough to go through infertility without being judged. Adoption is very difficult, extremely expensive and not easy in the least.

Anonymous on

Not knowing all the facts, and not needing to, I feel for her. It’s a very hard realization to know you cannot have children when you are ready. And adoption is expensive and a long process. My best to her future. I hope she finds other happiness whether in adoption or helping to raise other children of family or friends.

camom on

She did not say she wouldn’t adopt – she said after her divorce she didn’t think she wanted to parent on her own. Stop coming down on her as though she said a biological child is the only option. She didn’t say that.

Jess on

Adoption pushers: An adoptee deserves loving parents, not someone who thinks of them as last resort. If a person talks a lot about fertility issues and does not even begin to discuss adoption, that person is not suitable to be an adoptive parent, they know it and they are fine with that, and so should you.

Anonymous on

Exactly! People need to slow down and not just read, but comprehend. So many people are so quick to find fault in every single thing everyone does.

MW on

Women who don’t experience childbirth statistically go into menopause much earlier than women who do.