With endometriosis affecting one in 10 women across the globe, chances are you know someone with the condition, or have heard a celebrity talk about their experience with it.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition that affects a woman’s reproductive organs. It happens when the cells in the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium) grow outside of it, but it is often left undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
This is why the admissions of these endometriosis-suffering celebrities are so important; each woman is sharing her story in a bid to raise awareness about a subject that’s not talked about enough.
Here are the Aussie celebrities who have spoken about their chronic illness.
The former Wiggle first spoke publicly about her endo in 2018 after she had to cancel shows to undergo keyhole surgery.
In an exclusive chat with Now To Love, she shared, “I think in retrospect, I just wasn’t really that aware and I was in pain for a long time but just put it off.
“But if you don’t feel right and you know yourself intuitively and in your own body, if something isn’t that right it’s best to get it checked and get it checked more than once.”
Recently she reflected on that “disruptive” time in her life with Now To Love while supporting Witchery’s 19th White Shirt Campaign.
“My mum uses the example, ‘it’s kind of like putting sticks into your handbag and rummaging it around and then taking the sticks out of the handbag looking still brand new’,” she says.
“It’s kind of like not seeing it physically on the outside, but internally it’s an intrusive kind of surgery.”
The Home and Away star has been battling endometriosis for most of her life, and she spoke to Woman’s Day about how it impacted her during school.
“I do remember a couple of times waking up in the morning and fainting and vomiting from the pain in high school,” she shared.
“I felt crazy for so long, having so much pain and not knowing what it was.”
Sophie has undergone three surgeries to remove tissue growth since she was diagnosed at 21-years-old.
Now 28, Sophie’s biggest trick to living with the illness is seeking support from her loved ones.
“Hiding doesn’t help anyone… it’s ok to actually as for help,” she said.
The former Married At First Sight star discovered she had endometrioses in 2022, and the clarity has been life-changing for her.
She shared a photo of her “endo-belly” to Instagram.
“After being diagnosed with endometriosis this year, a lot of my questions have been answered…. Especially why my belly would swell like this..” she explained.
“I’m still learning. A special thank you to @theendospace for everything that they are doing. I find this Instagram educational, interesting and a safe place.”
Love Island star Erin Barnett is also affected by the condition, and regularly shares updates about her journey with endo.
When she appeared on I’m a Celebrity in 2020, Erin revealed to her campmates that she was diagnosed at age 14 after doctors found a cyst on her ovary.
“I had a two kilo cyst, they thought I was pregnant at 14,” Erin said.
“It was a blood cyst that popped inside of me. Having a cyst pop inside of you is the most horrific pain I’ve ever felt. I got my left ovary removed before I came onto the show. I had five surgeries last year.”
The reality star has become a staunch advocate for spreading awareness, and in February 2022 even wrote her own book on the condition; Endo Unfiltered.
Former Bachelorette Angie Kent is another Aussie celebrity who talks openly and honestly about her endometriosis journey.
In February 2022, Angie underwent her third laparoscopy surgery to examine her polycystic cysts and remove endometriosis that had returned.
“I ended up having a complicated laparoscopy, including use of las hysteroscopy, with endometrial biopsy, performed in a cystoscopy and urethroscopy with an ultrasound, in conjunction with a surgi pudendal nerve block along with a dose of botox in my pelvis for my nerve damage,” she shared.
Angie revealed she had received a new diagnosis, interstitial cystitis, which causes pelvic pain and bladder pressure.
In December, the 31-year-old admitted she was left “extremely overwhelmed” by what she saw spreading on her ovaries and growing in her uterus.
“It looked like a damn beehive in there,” she said. “Hormonal pigment back in full swing and hormonal acne from PCOS has been fun. My symptoms have been out of control lately.”
Endometriosis symptoms checklist
According to Better Health Victoria, the pain endometriosis produces is enough for young girls to have to stay home from school, and women to stay home from work.
Not only that, but research shows that this condition can be inherited and it often goes undiagnosed for up to 10 years because, as women, we normalise the pain by not seeking medical advice.
If you, or someone close to you are experiencing these symptoms collectively, you may have endometriosis. The next step is to make an appointment with your GP to investigate it a littler further.
Pelvic and ovulation pain
Nausea and fatigue
Pain during sex
Pain in your lowerback and legs
Bowel and bladder symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome (or, what is commonly known as PMS)
WATCH video below: 10 scary facts about endometriosis.