- Endometriosis, a disease in which the tissue that lines the uterus grows in other places in the body, affects nearly 200 million women in the world.
- Celebrities such as Halsey, Julianne Hough, and Dolly Parton have opened up about having the disease.
- Many celebrities have become advocates hoping to bring more awareness to the disease.
Endometriosis is a disease that causes a person’s uterine lining to form outside of their uterus, rather than inside. It can cause severe cramps, a heavy flow, painful sex, and even infertility, among other symptoms.
Here are 12 celebrities that have opened up about their experience with endometriosis, the disease that affects roughly 200 million women in the world.
Halsey has called the disease “discouraging.”
The singer has been very candid online with her fans about her struggles with endometriosis and wrote a lengthy message one time on Twitter to share her feelings on the matter:
“Emo moment; but if any of you suffer from endometriosis please know you aren’t alone. I know how excruciatingly painful it can be and how discouraging the disease can be. To feel like it’s gonna limit you because of how debilitating it is … To maybe be worried about ‘never having kids,’ or dealing with crazy treatment suggestions … Finding out that I have endo was the most bittersweet moment because it meant I wasn’t crazy!”
The singer also revealed she had a miscarriage while performing on stage. On an episode of “The Doctors,” she said it was that incident that led her to make the decision to freeze her eggs to “be aggressive about protecting” her fertility.
Whoopi Goldberg created CBD products in hopes of helping people dealing with endometriosis.
Goldberg has long been an advocate of more education regarding endometriosis and period pain management. She even has her own line of CBD (cannabidiol) products, including balms, tinctures, and bath salts, to help with painful menstrual cramps.
At the 2009 Endometriosis Foundation Blossom Ball,Goldberg spoke and said that it “never occurred to me that somehow women didn’t know about it.”
She continued, “You have to take whatever stigma people think that is there … You have to take it. It’s not male or female. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with, here’s a disease you don’t know about and you need to know about it. It’s that simple. It’s not rocket science.”
Daisy Ridley told her followers to not “worry about being a hypochondriac” if they’re experiencing pain.
Ridley is another star that has been very forward with her experience with endometriosis in an attempt to help others with the disease. She also has said she has polycystic ovary syndrome -a hormonal disorder – and experiences pain and skin problems because of her conditions.
Before she deleted her Instagram, Ridley posted about the progress being made in relation to the disease. She wrote: “[T]o any of you who are suffering with anything, go to a doctor … keep on top of how your body is feeling and don’t worry about sounding like a hypochondriac. From your head to the tips of your toes we only have one body, let us all make sure ours are working in tip top condition, and take help if it’s needed.”
Padma Lakshmi co-founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America.
Lakshmi – a model, actress, and writer – said she found out that she had endometriosis at 36 years old and admitted that it contributed to her 2007 divorce to Salman Rushdie.
“I think, yes, endometriosis was definitely a major reason that my marriage failed,”Lakshmi told Entertainment Weekly (EW). “I don’t think either of us understood it at the time – for as smart and intelligent as Salman is. I think that’s also because I hid it to a certain degree. Not intentionally, but it’s weird to talk about your period all the time. It’s the least sexy thing in the world to do.”
She also co-founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America to continue to make more people aware of the disease. She told EW, “If I don’t talk about it – or women like me don’t talk about it – what hope does the next generation of young girls have?”
Susan Sarandon was diagnosed with the disease when she was 36 years old.
The actress was diagnosed when she was 36 years old after experiencing symptoms for years. Sarandon was even told she wouldn’t have kids and has, herself, said the disease “affected [her] fertility significantly.”
“When all you know is pain you don’t know that that is not normal … It is not a woman’s lot to suffer, even if we’ve been raised that way,” she said while speaking at the Endometriosis Foundation of America’ Blossom Ball in 2011.
Despite her earlier diagnosis, she had three kids.
Jillian Michaels said she struggled with fertility following her endometriosis diagnosis.
The famous trainer was diagnosed with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome, both of which affected her fertility.
“I was always told that fertility would/could be a problem for me. Why do I have this? … In order to get pregnant, I know it would require surgery. For me, it becomes a sort of ‘I can’t handle doing that,'” she told Momlogic.
In 2012, she and her partner at the time, Heidi Rhoades, adopted a daughter from Haiti the same week Rhoades gave birth to their son.
Michaels has also discussed how she wishes she had been more transparent with her diagnosis, telling Redbook magazine in 2010, “I thought if I talked about my personal limitations, people would say, ‘How healthy could she be?’ This was my weakness and my bad.”
Dolly Parton underwent a partial hysterectomy as a result of her endometriosis diagnosis.
The beloved country singer, known for her charismatic manner and songs, has been battling endometriosis for years.
In 1985, she underwent a partial hysterectomy due to the disease and a deep depression ensued.
“It was an awful time for me,” she said. “Every day I thought, ‘I wish I had the nerve to kill myself,'” she told reporters in 2008.
Cyndi Lauper said she was “gravely ill” with endometriosis.
The “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” singer was diagnosed with endometriosis in her 30s and revealed she struggled to get pregnant for years. She explained her hesitance to undergo surgery in fear that it would affect the possibility of her getting pregnant.
She told the Independent, “When you have an operation, they give you a contract to sign. Well, I looked at the stuff and I crossed out what I didn’t like, and I called the doctor over and told him, ‘We’re not doing this, and we’re not doing this. You are not touching one tube, or one ovary, you’re not doing anything but getting rid of all the bad stuff.'”
In 1997, Lauper had a son,Declyn Wallace Thornton Lauper.
Tia Mowry said her diagnosis made her “feel out of control.”
In an interview with Parents magazine, the “Sister, Sister” actress revealed that she was diagnosed at 27 with endometriosis and had two surgeries so she could possibly get pregnant.
“Despite my diagnosis, I still wanted to try and have a baby, but not being able to have kids was an immediate fear,” she said. “It made me feel out of control.”
Lena Dunham penned an op-ed about her endometriosis diagnosis.
Dunham has been very open about her struggles with endometriosis, including penning an op-ed in one of her Lenny Letters in 2015 called “The Sickest Girl,” the title she got from missing so many days of school due to her diagnosis and other health issues. In the op-ed, she revealed she struggled for years before a doctor was able to give her a proper diagnosis which led to laparoscopic surgery.
She concluded her piece with “Being a woman is the best thing that ever happened to me. But I also hope for a future in which the pain of teenage girls is fully investigated, taken as seriously as a broken leg.”
She also opened up on Instagram in 2016, writing, “I am currently going through a rough patch with the illness and my body (along with my amazing doctors) let me know, in no uncertain terms, that it’s time to rest … So many women with this disease literally don’t have the option of time off and I won’t take it for granted.”
In 2018, Dunham underwent another surgery, this time a full hysterectomy, an operation that removes a person’s uterus. She penned a piece about the experience for Vogue, writing, “Because I had to work so hard to have my pain acknowledged, there was no time to feel fear or grief. To say goodbye. I made a choice that never was a choice for me, yet mourning feels like a luxury I don’t have.”
Julianne Hough had laparoscopic surgery following her diagnosis.
Hough, an actress and dancer, had abdominal pains so severe, she told People magazine, “it felt like a knife was being stabbed in me,” before being diagnosed with endometriosis.
She wrote in her blog: “It turned out I ruptured a cyst that was on my ovary. I didn’t know, but I have endometriosis. I’ve apparently had it for a long time because I’ve had this pain for about the last five years. It hasn’t been as bad. Up till last week, I let it go and I was always too busy to get it checked out.”
She had laparoscopic surgery in the middle of a “Dancing with the Stars” season in 2008 and following the surgery said, “I’m right where I belong, and I’m so grateful to be here.”
Jaime King struggled with infertility following her diagnosis.
King learned that her symptoms pointed to endometriosis when she was 28 years old.
On top of endometriosis, she was also diagnosed with adenomyosis – a condition in which the uterus’s inner lining breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus – and polycystic ovary syndrome, which all contributed to her miscarriages and infertility issues.
In an interview with Fit Pregnancy, she opened up about the lack of information women have about the disease. “It’s interesting because nobody really talks about endometriosis or PCOS, but so many women struggle with it,” King said. “I used to feel like I was the only one who had it. Nobody knew how long it took me to get pregnant: that for seven years I had so many losses, I’d been trying for so long and I was in so much pain.”
The actress has since had two sons.
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