Australian television personality, conservationist, zookeeper and actress Bindi Irwin has revealed her long-term battle with endometriosis on International Women’s Day, March 8.
She is said to have undergone surgery for endometriosis after a decade-long battle with the condition that affects the uterus.
‘For 10 years I’ve struggled with insurmountable fatigue, pain and nausea,’ Irwin shared in posts on Instagram alongside an image of her in a hospital bed.
‘A doctor told me it was simply something you deal with as a woman and I gave up entirely, trying to function through the pain.’
‘Trying to remain a positive person and hide the pain has been a very long road,’ Ms Irwin said.
She had undergone many scans and tests before getting surgery to remove 37 lesions.
Irwin’s posts came on International Women’s Day and Endometriosis Awareness Month, March 8, 2023.
Endometriosis is ‘a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus,’ according to the United States’ National Institutes of Health.
Symptoms of the disease can include pelvic pain, heavy bleeding during periods and fertility issues.
Irwin, 24, said doctors had found 37 lesions, some of which were ‘very deep and difficult to remove,’ but she is now ‘on the road to recovery.
‘I’m sharing my story for anyone who reads this and is quietly dealing with pain and no answers. Let this be your validation that your pain is real and you deserve help,’ she added.
Soon after her posts, her family took to social media to share their support.
Her husband Chandler Powell said, ‘Seeing how you pushed through the pain to take care of our family and continue our conservation work while being absolutely riddled with endometriosis is something that will inspire me forever.
More than 11 per cent of Australian women, girls, and those who are gender diverse – about 830,000 people in total – suffer from endometriosis at some point in their life, according to Endometriosis Australia.
The disease is estimated to affect up to 200 million women around the world.
‘Please be gentle and pause before asking me (or any woman) when we’ll be having more children,’ Irwin wrote in her post Wednesday.
‘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.’
Johns Hopkins Medicine says endometriosis is an idiopathic condition, meaning there is no known cause.
The disease often starts in the teenage years and there are no specific ways to prevent it.