Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late Australian wildlife presenter Steve Irwin, has revealed her decade-long health struggle with endometriosis – A condition that affects at least one in nine women.
Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue that typically lines the uterus grows in other parts of the body. Rogue tissue often grows on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining the pelvis, and occasionally beyond the area where pelvic organs are located.
The scar tissue can prevent pregnancy and can cause organs to stick together, and can be extremely painful. There is currently no cure.
In an emotional instagram post for International Women’s Day, Bindi opened up about her battle with the painful condition, alongside a photo of her in a hospital bed.
The 24 year old wrote about her experience navigating the healthcare system as a woman, and how she was told by a doctor that her pain was “simply something you deal with as a woman”.
She wrote: ”Dear Friends, I battled for a long time wondering if I should share this journey with you in such a public space. It came down to the responsibility I feel to share my story for other women who need help.”
”For 10yrs I’ve struggled with insurmountable fatigue, pain & nausea. Trying to remain a positive person & hide the pain has been a very long road. These last 10yrs have included many tests, doctors visits, scans, etc.”
”A doctor told me it was simply something you deal with as a woman & I gave up entirely, trying to function through the pain. I didn’t find answers until a friend @lesliemosier helped set me on a path of regaining my life. I decided to undergo surgery for endometriosis.”
She continued on ”Going in for surgery was scary but I knew I couldn’t live like I was. Every part of my life was getting torn apart because of the pain. To cut a long story short, they found 37 lesions, some very deep & difficult to remove, & a chocolate cyst.”
Rounding up by thanking her family and friends, Irwin went on to remind her followers that you never truly know what is going on in someones life. – ”Things may look fine on the outside looking in through the window of someone’s life, however, that is not always the case.”
”Please be gentle & pause before asking me (or any woman) when we’ll be having more children. After all that my body has gone through, I feel tremendously grateful that we have our gorgeous daughter. She feels like our family’s miracle.”
Irwin’s revelation comes as scientists launched a clinical trial for what could be the first new treatment for endometriosis in four decades.
Researchers from the universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Birmingham, in the UK, are testing whether the drug dichloroacetate can help manage pain for those with the condition.
If successful, the drug could be the first non-hormonal and non-surgical treatment for endometriosis, which would be massive breakthrough for sufferers everywhere.