I’ve thus been lucky enough to not suffer from endometriosis, but I have friends who do, and it truly sounds like a nightmare. It affects 1 in 10 women, so it’s not surprising that a good number of famous women have also battled the condition – and these ladies aren’t planning to stay silent about the horrors of their experience anymore.
#10. Heating pads can help manage painful symptoms.
Singer/songwriter Halsey was diagnosed in 2014 and snapped this image of herself wrapped in heating pads in 2017.
#9. Endometriosis occurs when uterine tissue grows outside the uterus.
Tia Mowry wrote in Women’s Health that multiple doctors dismissed her symptoms before she found a physician to take her seriously – and who explained that the pain occurred monthly because unlike tissue in the uterus, the errant tissue has nowhere to shed.
#8. Heavy and/or long periods are also a symptom.
Actress and writer Lena Dunham has chronicled her journey with endometriosis and is frank about her heavy period that had lasted “for 13 days.”
#7. Endometriosis is the leading cause of infertility.
Tia Mowry is extra thankful for her two beautiful kiddos after being told her diagnosis could mean having them would be difficult.
#6. Migraines and lower back pain could also signal endometriosis.
Singer Monica told People in 2017 that her chronic migraines turned out to be a symptom of endometriosis – they’ve been linked in numerous studies. Lower back pain, abdominal pain, pain during bowel movements or urination, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea are also possible symptoms.
#5. If women with endometriosis do get pregnant, they have a higher chance of a miscarriage.
Actress Gabrielle Union and her husband Dwayne Wade recently welcomed a daughter by surrogate after suffering eight or nine miscarriages because of the condition.
#4. You might be offered surgery – but it might not help long term.
Lena Dunham has had her left ovary removed, along with her uterus and cervix. Doctors can offer procedures that range from laparoscopic to a full hysterectomy, but should also warn you there’s a 50-75% chance symptoms could return within 5 years.
#3. It can make sex painful and frustrating.
Actress Julianne Hough opened up to Women’s Health about how endometriosis affects her sex life.
“It can definitely cut things short. Sometimes we’re in the middle and I’m just like ‘AH, stop!'”
Luckily, her husband is understanding and, like she says, “there’s so much intimacy without actually having sex.”
#2. Support is important.
Women who suffer from endometriosis can benefit from a strong community where tips, success stories, and plain commiseration abound. Julianne Hough agrees.
“There’s a tribe of women who support each other like crazy on websites like SpeakEndo. The more educated you become, the more powerful you’re going to feel.”
#1. It can be hard to get doctors to take you seriously.
Jessica Williams, co-host of the 2 Dope Queens podcast, talked about her struggle with getting diagnosed. She reiterated that killer cramps “ain’t normal,” and said she had “probably had this for 10 years and only got diagnosed last month and even that was after I went to the ER AND two different doctors before finding the solution.”
Support your friends, ladies. They’re not making it up.