Celebrities often keep silent about their health issues, but in the case of endometriosis, a number of women have spoken out loud — even proudly — about the silent condition. Endometriosis occurs when tissue such as endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus, and it often goes undiagnosed. And so women like Amy Schumer, Padma Lakshmi, and Lena Dunham are working to raise awareness so that other women don’t have to suffer in silence.
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Endometriosis is often associated with an increased amount of estrogen circulating in a woman’s body. Researchers are still not sure if the increase in estrogen is a cause or an effect of endometriosis, but it is thought that genetics may be a factor in the onset of endometriosis.
According to the World Health Organization, about 10 percent of women worldwide have this condition, and the experience varies from person to person.
Some women with endometriosis have no symptoms, while others experience pelvic pain so severe that it interferes with bowel movements, urination, and sexual intercourse. This pain often gets worse during menstruation.
While there is currently no cure for endometriosis, pain and other symptoms can be reduced through: Surgery to remove the painful tissue. hormonal therapy, such as oral contraceptives; Pain relievers, such as NSAIDs. and GnRH, such as Elagolix (Orilissa) and Leuprolide (Lupron).
Related: How a diagnosis of endometriosis helped a woman find her voice
Complementary approaches include exercise, herbal enemas, acupuncture, and dietary changes, such as eating less red meat and more fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you are experiencing pelvic or lower abdominal pain or heavy periods, speak to your doctor immediately. And if you suffer from endometriosis, you can learn how to thrive from these outspoken celebs.