Kate Walsh Opens Up About Early Menopause

The 48-year-old actress revealed that she cannot have children because she's gone through early menopause.
4:05 | 11/20/15

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Transcript for Kate Walsh Opens Up About Early Menopause
Juju, always good to see you. Kate Walsh is opening up for the first time about why she's never had children, the 48-year-old former "Grey's anatomy" and "Private practice" star revealing she went through early menopause. It's a problem that's more common than you may think and ABC's linsey Davis has her story. Reporter: She played a smart and sultry surgeon on "Grey's anatomy" and on "Private practice" where she was known for her character's heartbreaking struggle with infertility. I'm so sorry. I know how much you wanted this. I just didn't realize I was out of time. Reporter: Now Kate Walsh is speaking out, the 48-year-old TV star revealing on the Sirius XM radio conversations that her character's onscreen problem is also one she has in real life. I don't have children. I'm not going to have kids. You know, I went through early menopause. You did? Yeah. Oh, wow. My older sister called and she's like you should go and get yourself checked because I'm going through menopause early and I'm like, you're just scaring me and then I went -- yeah, they're like, you have one egg. It was bleak. On average it occurs around 51 years old but one in every 100 women between the ages of 30 and 39 are affected by what's known as premature menopause, the loss of ovarian function. Not clear why it happens to certain women. A woman should be concerned if they become irregular particularly if they've had regular periods in the past a woman should go through her lifestyle and certain risk factors with her health provider to maximize her fertility capabilities. Walsh who has spoken out about wanting to have children says her hopes of getting pregnant are dashed but when it comes to life she says she has no regrets. I think it's a bit of a myth and 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 like a rock star in my career? I've always felt as much as I've been sort of at times in my life indecisive I go for what I want and I embrace what's in front of me. Reporter: For "Good morning America," linsey Davis, ABC news, New York. All right. Joining us now is Dr. Jennifer Ashton and joins us live from our L.A. Bureau. This is your area of expertise, Jen. What do you make of Kate's revelation? First of all if that's what menopause looks like, sign me up and for a shoutout to all the millions of women who go through menopause and their story doesn't make national news, but, again, to clary, early menopause is menopause that occurs at the age of 40 or earlier, most women will go through menopause between 45 and 55 so that's the average range, it'll differ woman to woman. You said early menopause isn't even really a medical term. You can -- it's premenopause. What are the causes of it? Premature menopause so we don't totally understand but things like smoking, very, very bad for your ovaries as it is for the rest of your body, certain chemotherapy, certain types of chromosomal abnormalities associated with early or premature menopause and don't know how the environment affects it but certainly family history plays a role so something your mother, your sister goes through, it increases your chance it will happen around the same time. When you said chemotherapy, Amy and I both nodded along that's what happened for both of us at an early age so we also heard in the radio interview with Kate Walsh that she was referring to the pill that she thought that was a contributing factor. Could that be? Is that true? Absolutely not. So, there are so many myths about the birth control pill and we really need to change that. Taking birth control pills for years is not associated with premature menopause and there's no maximum amount of time that a woman can take the pill and we have to remember the silver lining with both early menopause or taking birth control pill, a dramatic reduction in the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer so always have to look at both sides. Absolutely. All right, Jen, have a good time there in L.A. Thanks so much for joining us. Thanks. She will take your questions on Twitter throughout the morning. Tweet her @drjashton. Outside with Barbara

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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