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Gwyneth Paltrow is happy to contribute to the growing dialogue about perimenopause and menopause.
"I'm just glad everybody's talking about it because it used to be so full of shame and it's just another chapter for us,” the Oscar winner and founder of Goop told People magazine. She added: “It's nothing to be hidden."
Paltrow, 51, says she began noticing changes at 45.
“I just thought it was so strange that there was nowhere that I could go to understand if everything I was going through was normal," she said. "Now I'm getting my period every 18 days, or whatever came up.”
She said her friends experienced similar symptoms in silence but "now we're trying to just talk about it more.”
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Paltrow says today she's "really in the thick of perimenopause," which is the transition to menopause, per the Mayo Clinic. Women enter this stage at varying ages, according to the website: "You may notice signs of progression toward menopause, such as menstrual irregularity, sometime in your 40s. But some women notice changes as early as their mid-30s."
Other symptoms listed include changes in mood, hot flashes, bone loss and a reduction in fertility.
"It's quite a roller coaster and my best advice is that every woman really needs to contemplate what is the right way for her,” Paltrow says. “For me, I've been really trying to focus on having a very well-functioning gut and liver so that these excess hormones can be flushed out of the body and cause less symptoms.”
Paltrow joins celebs like Oprah Winfrey, Drew Barrymore and Maria Shriver who discussed menopause for Oprah Daily's "The Life You Want" that streamed in April.
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"There's something in that stigma that you think 'I don't want you to think on some dusty old dry thing.' That's not the image I want," said Barrymore, who is currently experiencing perimenopause, during the March taping. "And I feel very confident normally."
"For generations, millions and millions of women have suffered the symptoms of menopause and suffered in silence," said Winfrey, who experienced difficulty focusing, heart palpitations, and felt life had dulled before she started taking estrogen.
"It's always been shrouded in stigma and shrouded in shame," Winfrey continued. "Women have told me they feel invisible as if their very selves are disappearing. But we are flipping that script today."
Contributing: Morgan Hines
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Perimenopause: Gwyneth Paltrow's advice for women