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16 Celebrities Who Have Opened Up About Their Endometriosis Stories

Period pain can already be a deeply challenging and upsetting part of being a person with a uterus. But if you add in an invisible illness, like endometriosis — an often misdiagnosed or misunderstood condition in which implants similar to the lining of the uterus are found outside the uterus and result in heavy, painful periods — the experience can be even more traumatizing.


According to, one in 10 women has endometriosis — and 176 million people worldwide are affected by the disruptive condition. It is a serious but deeply neglected public health issue. In fact, according to a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development-led study published in 2011, 11 percent of a group of women who had not been diagnosed with endometriosis actually had the disorder. And if the finding applies to all women in the United States, the number of American women with endometriosis could exceed previous estimates of five million. Some studies even show that their experiences are often labeled incorrectly as a mental health issue or another physical issue, leading to patients experiencing medical gaslighting and exhausting and painful searches for doctors who will actually listen to them.

Celebrities aren’t excluded from this condition or even the pervasive issues in accessing adequate care. But, recently, as more and more people become aware of the condition’s existence and different treatment options out there, several famous faces have started speaking out about their struggles. Like with so many invisible illnesses, the more advocates willing to stand up and share their stories can only lead to a world where patients are heard and supported.

A version of this story was published June 2017.

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