(WJW) – Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late Steve Irwin, says she has lived in severe pain for years.
On Tuesday, the Australian reality TV star opened up about her battle with endometriosis and how she recently had surgery to remove legions of her ovaries. Taking to social media, Bindi said she wasn’t sure she wanted to share her medical struggles so publicly, but ultimately decided other women needed to know they weren’t alone.
“For 10 years I’ve been struggling with insurmountable fatigue, pain and nausea,” she says said in a Twitter post. “Trying to stay positive and hide the pain has gone a very long way.”
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Irwin went on to explain that she has undergone many tests and scans as well as many doctor visits over the past decade.
“A doctor told me it was just something to deal with as a woman, and I gave it up completely and tried to function through the pain,” she said. Ultimately, Irwin said she decided to have surgery for endometriosis.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Endometriosis is a condition in which cells similar to the lining of the womb, or endometrium, grow outside the uterus.” It can also affect neighboring organs, such as the bowel and bladder. Treatment often includes pain relievers and hormone therapy, but when these are not effective, patients may elect to have surgery to remove endometriotic tissue.
Bindi Irwin poses for a photo with fiance Chandler Powell at the annual Steve Irwin Gala Dinner at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Center on November 09, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
ULURU, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 2: Steve Irwin poses with his daughter Bindi Irwin on October 2, 2006 in Uluru, Australia. (Photo by Australia Zoo via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA – APRIL 26: Bindi Irwin attends the ceremony honoring Steve Irwin with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 26, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
The The 24-year-old mother-of-one said that while going under the knife was scary, the pain was beginning to seep into every aspect of her life.
“To make it short”, she reported. “They found 37 lesions, some very deep and difficult to remove, and one chocolate cyst.” Ovarian endometriomas, sometimes known as chocolate cysts, are cysts filled with menstrual blood, explains the Cleveland Clinic.
“[Dr. Tamer Seckin]When I was in recovery, his first words to me were, ‘How did you live with so much pain?’” Irwin continued. “The confirmation of years of pain is indescribable.” Seckin, a New York-based endometriosis specialist, also mentored actress Amy Schumer two years ago when she underwent a hysterectomy to treat her endometriosis.
Bindi, who is married to Chandler Powell, said it was a long road to recovery and reminded everyone to be kind to one another.
“Things may look good on the outside when you look through the window into someone’s life, but that’s not always the case,” she said. “Please be gentle and pause before you ask me (or any other woman) when we’re going to have more children.”
completion of the post, said Bindi, knowing that millions of women around the world understand what she is going through and that her pain is not fabricated. Bindi joins a host of other celebrities who have spoken out about their struggles with the often-stigmatized disease.
Endometriosis affects more than 11% of American women ages 15 to 44, according to the Department of Health & Human Services.
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