When I first got my period, no one told me that it wasn't normal to curl up in a ball for days, throwing up, passing out, and crying from pain. I had no idea that the crippling symptoms I dealt with were anything but ordinary, until one day a doctor told me I had a disease called endometriosis. I was grateful to learn there were treatments for my suffering, but I also began to feel isolated in my pain, even though I now know I was far from alone. If you're feeling isolated, here are some celebrity quotes about endometriosis to help you feel less alone.
Endometriosis is more common than you think, but even still, because its symptoms can be so debilitating, it often feels like you're alone in your suffering. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), about one in 10 women are affected by the disorder. That means that about 10 percent of women are quietly dealing with the pain of the disease, and we shouldn't. There's no shame in it, even if talking about your cycle seems embarrassing. The ACOG also stated that there's a real problem in diagnosing the illness, leading to a three to 11-year lag between the onset of symptoms and the initial diagnosis of endometriosis.
I know that for me, it was a full 10 years after getting my period before middle school that I even knew what was going on. It's incredibly frustrating, but thankfully more and more women are coming forward to talk about their experiences.
1. "It's all about starting this conversation. I want to be a voice and a person who can help women." — Julianne Hough
In an interview with SheKnows, the celebrity best known for Dancing With The Stars discussed how hard endometriosis is, and what it was like getting the initial diagnosis. She finds joy in her advocacy for others.
2. "If my pain had no tangible source, that just meant my mind was more powerful than I was and it didn’t want me to be happy, ever." — Lena Dunham
The writer, creator, and star of HBO's hit series Girls has been open and vocal about her battle with endometriosis. In this quote to People, she spoke about how scary it is not knowing what your body is doing. Earlier this year, Lena Dunham decided to have a radical hysterectomy at age 31 to treat her disease, Vogue reported.
3. "Find a doctor you trust and don’t be afraid to ask questions." — Bethenny Frankel
According to Women's Health, Frankel has been open with both her diagnosis and the surgeries that resulted from it. She is practical and forthright when she tells women to get a doctor they trust. So many of us will just stay on with a provider because we always have, but if you're not getting better or getting treatments, get a new provider.
4. "Day three of endo-induced migraine from clenching teeth due to cramps... even my ear hurts." — Padma Lakshmi
Migraines are considered chronic, idiopathic conditions, according to The Mayo Clinic, but there are many studies that suggest that they're linked to endometriosis. Padma Lakshmi has been amazingly open about the connection many of us feel, myself included. I know that the first day of my period is a hellscape of aural and painful migraines that require tons of sleep and caffeine (I get how those two oppose one another) to abate even the slightest bit.
5. "Hopefully in next couple generations ... they're going to have the right treatments, and this will no longer be an issue." — Molly Qerim
Sports anchor Molly Qerim, cohost of ESPN's First Take was first diagnosed about seven years ago, she told ABC News, and ever since then she's gone through traditional Western treatments and suffering before eventually finding aid in acupuncture.
6. "I think it’s really important that someone is there encouraging you, rooting you on, saying you’re not alone, helping you feel stronger and more powerful." — Tia Mowry
The young mogul, actress, and star of her own show on the Cooking Channel recently started talking about her struggles with endometriosis and how she's been fighting it with an anti-inflammatory diet. In her interview with Women's Health, Mowry discussed everything from advocacy to pregnancy in light of her disease. She recently released a cookbook with some of the recipes that helped her fight back.
7. "I felt like a part of me was broken" — Jaime King
Jaime King told Fit Pregnancy in an interview that women are often only judged by their ability to reproduce, and because her endometriosis led to long bouts of both infertility and miscarriages, she felt less-than. She noted that she was grateful to be able to use her platform to advocate for women everywhere.
8. "Finding out that I had endo was the most bittersweet moment because it meant I wasn't crazy! I wasn't a 'baby!'" — Halsey
In an eye-opening post in January of 2016, the pop star confirmed her diagnosis, as well as the pain of thinking you're crazy when you're not diagnosed right away. Many of us are told our symptoms can't possibly be as bad as we make them out to be. We're told to get over it. It's painful and demeaning and it needs to stop.
9. "There is nothing dirty about it. No religious group is going to be pissed if you discuss this. Because if you don’t discuss it, many more women are going to find themselves unable to have children, or find themselves close to dying because it’s led to something else." — Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg was diagnosed over 30 years ago and knows how lucky she is. This quote, given in a speech for the Endometriosis Foundation of America, is just a glimpse of the truth she dropped that night. She's right. If we don't talk about it, we can't help people.