Actress Julianna Hough has opened up about life with endometriosis, after revealing she is hoping to become a mother.
The Safe Haven star first heard about the disease aged 18 when her friend, who was curled up in pain next to the toilet, explained it to her.
Not fully understanding the condition, the 29-year-old thought her roommate was being dramatic, and believed she was suffering from bad period pains.
Hough however discovered she had actually been suffering from endometriosis since she started puberty, but wasn’t ready to seek a diagnosis, and thought giving in to her pain would hurt her career.
She said: ‘You think that it’s going to hinder you, that it’s going to be your identity. As a woman, too, in the industry, I was like, “Well, I can’t complain about it. I have to be a tough cookie.”‘
What is Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb is found in other parts of the body.
It can appear in many different places, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, inside the tummy, and in or around the bladder or bowel.
Each month, just like the womb lining, these cells also breakdown, however unlike a period they have nowhere to escape.
This can cause extremely painful and heavy periods and may also lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel or bladder problems.
Around 1.5million women in the UK suffer from endometriosis.
She danced through her pain on Dancing with the Stars, but after a severe painful episode she decided to get professional help and was finally diagnosed with the disease.
She told StyleCaster: ‘At first, it was scary. I was like, “Who am I? I have endometriosis? What does that even mean?” I had so many questions. “Is this going to hurt my career? Maybe I can just keep it secret.”’
The American dancer had her appendix removed to help with the pain, but still wasn’t comfortable talking about her condition.
However, now she’s thinking about becoming a mother with her hubby professional ice hockey forward Evan Brooks, Hough wants to use her voice to show other women that they are not alone.
She said: ‘What I’ve realised is that I can be a mother…I can be a nurturer. I can be a giver and help raise people. I can also adopt. I can do all those different things. There are so many options for me to be a mom.’
Although you can still fall pregnant with endometriosis, the actress has accepted there are other ways of becoming a mother and is grateful to be saved from her heartbreak over potential miscarriages.
She has now partnered with #SpeakEndo, a campaign that hopes to educate women on the condition.
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007 film must treat Bond girls properly, says Waller-Bridge
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