By Alison Harner ‘24
Wildlife conservationist and daughter of Robert Irwin, Bindi Irwin, posted on Instagram detailing her decade-long struggle with endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition that affects the uterus, causing tissue to grow outside of the uterus when it normally would not. It can be extremely painful and cause fertility issues. Though 1 in 10 women struggle with the condition, it is extremely stigmatized and Irwin had kept it a secret before she decided to go public about her condition. Irwin thanked the doctors who validated her pain and performed a procedure in which they were able to remove a cyst and several lesions from her uterus. Irwin described years of doctors passing off her excruciating pain as normal, explaining that she was overreacting. However, her pain was so bad at certain points that she had to cancel plans and could not leave her house for periods of time. Once her procedure was over, doctors told Bindi that they could not believe that she had lived with her pain for so long. She wrote in an Instagram post that, “Validation for years of pain is indescribable.” Irwin shared her story on the day before international women’s day in the hopes that it would bring light to the issue of endometriosis and the stigma surrounding it. She hopes that her willingness to come forward will inspire others to do the same.
Other celebrities that have spoken openly about their struggles with endometriosis include Halsey, Lena Dunham, Whoopi Goldberg, and others. This disease touches the lives of many: if you do not personally struggle with endometriosis, you most likely know someone who does. Treatments for the illness are rarely discussed openly, and many people who suffer from endometriosis aren’t aware of their condition because doctors dismiss the pain and other side effects as regular menstrual symptoms. Bindi Irwin concluded her statement with a plea to readers, asking them not to interrogate women with endometriosis about their fertility. Irwin expressed gratitude about the birth of her daughter, but she also explained that many women with endometriosis struggle with conceiving and giving birth. It can be an extremely sensitive topic for many. However, if the stigma around endometriosis is removed, improved fertility rates could be one of the many positive outcomes
Subramaniam, T. (2023, March 8). Bindi Irwin reveals 10-year battle with endometriosis on International Women’s Day. CNN. Retrieved March 8, 2023, from https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/08/asia/bindi-irwin-endometriosis-reveal-womens-day-intl-hnk