Celebrities that have spoken aloud about endometriosis
A 10% of the world female population suffers from endometriosis, a sickness that is way more common than what we may think, but for some reason many women still suffer in silence
Endometriosis is much more common that what we could imagine. In fact, almost 10% of the world female population suffers from it.
The Spanish Ministry of Health defines endometriosis as “the implantation and benign growth of the endometrial tissue outside the uterus”, especially in the pelvic cavity (ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterine ligaments, bowel…) even though, in some extreme cases, it can also spread to other body parts.
CConsidered as a chronic disease, it can cause dysmenorrhea (pain during the period), dyspareunia (pain during the sexual intercourse), infertility (which can affect approximately 30-40% of women with endometriosis) and chronic pelvic pain. Other symptoms not related to the gynaecologic spectrum could be abdominal or back pain, pain when urinating or defecating as well as bleedings.
It is important to know more about endometriosis because, even though it is a very common disease, it is a sickness that many women still suffer in silence nowadays. One of the reasons why this might happen could be the fact that many women do not know they suffer from it, since its pain can be considered as regular pain related to the menstruation. “It is not a woman’s lot to suffer, even if we’ve been raised that way”, said once Susan Sarandon back in 2011 during the Endometriosis Foundation of America’s ball. She also added “It is not fair to miss a part of your life because of pain and excessive bleeding. It is not ok to spend 2 or 3 days in bed every month. It is not ok to feel pain when having sex”.
Just like the actress, many celebrities have lately shared their own experiences publicly while fighting against endometriosis and this has contributed to give visibility to this widespread disease.
The latest celebrity that has raised her voice on the matter has been Lena Dunham, who recently underwent a hysterectomy. She shared her experience by writing an article in Vogue to increase awareness on this disease and to show other women suffering from endometriosis, that they are not alone.
A few years ago, the Girls main character published on her website Lenny Letter an in-depth declaration on how her everyday life has been since she discovered, as a teenager, that she was suffering from endometriosis.
Back in 2016, the new Star Wars heroine, the actress Daisy Ridley, also shared with everyone her experience with this disease, which caused her pain one more time 8 years after a laparoscopy and several doctor consultations.
Well-known actress, Whoopi Goldberg, has also been suffering from endometriosis for the past 30 years and she has always felt very surprised about the lack of information around this disease. During her speech at the Endometriosis Foundation of America’s ball back in 2009,she said she never thought there would be so many women with such a lack of awareness on the matter. As previously mentioned, even though there are recognisable symptoms of this disease, between a 15% and a 30% of the endometriosis cases are asymptomatic.
Nowadays, the causes leading to endometriosis remain unknown. There are many hypotheses, from those pointing towards immunologic issues to those focusing on environmental or genetic causes. Medicine has not yet been able to neither prevent it nor eradicate it, but at least it has managed to make the patients’ life more comfortable by relieving their pain.
This is why we make Susan Sarandon’s words ours: “Suffering shouldn’t define us as women”.