There are a lot of things celebrities use their fame for — ahem, free trips, private planes and million-dollar paycheques — but sometimes, they use it for good. Which is exactly why R&B singer Monica is speaking out about her personal struggle with, a disease that affects approximately 10 per cent of women.
The 36-year-old singer shared details of her battle on Instagram, letting fans know that she had an eight-hour surgery to remove endometrium tissue, two cysts, fibroids, and a hernia that were “making her very sick.”
Like many who are diagnosed with endometriosis, Monica had no idea she had the disease or knew much about it, she just felt something was wrong. Luckily her health care team took her complaints seriously, since for many women, they’re told to “take an Advil” and head home since it’s just “that time of the month.”
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis happens when the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. It attaches to other organs in the body, and sheds much like the uterine lining does. However, because there’s no way for the lining to exit the body, it can cause internal inflammation and scarring.
This can be extremely painful and in some cases, cause infertility. It typically affects women during their childbearing years, and is a notoriously difficult disease to diagnose since the symptoms often mimic those of a painful period. Symptoms can also include: Spotting between periods, pain with intercourse, infertility, as well as pain during bowel movements and urination.
Monica and other stars affected by endometriosis
If you feel like you’ve been hearing a lot about endometriosis lately, it’s probably because you have. Monica isn’t the only celebrity going through it — Lena Dunham and Julianne Hough have also spoken out about their experience with the disease.
Dunham was admitted to the hospital after the Met Gala with severe pelvic pain. She later shared that it was due to complications from her most recent endometriosis surgery. The writer and producer has had five surgeries to treat her endometriosis this year alone, after the chronic pain she was experiencing became debilitating.
Hough was diagnosed in 2008 [link to: ] after suffering from symptoms of the disease for four years. The pain got so bad that she was rushed to the hospital from the set of Dancing with the Stars with severe stomach pains. It was only then that she realized what she was experiencing wasn’t “normal period pain.”
Now, the three stars are doing all they can to spread awareness of endometriosis with the hope that women will no longer stay silent and needlessly suffer thinking their symptoms are a normal part of being a woman.
As Hough says, “Just having awareness and open conversation about this is so important. I don’t care about being private about this anymore because I really want the women that are going through debilitating pain to benefit from my story.”