On International Women’s Day, Bindi Irwin reveals 10-year battle with endometriosis

(CNN) Australian naturopath Bindi Irwin revealed on Wednesday that she has undergone surgery for endometriosis after a decade-long battle with the condition, which affects the womb.

“For 10 years, I have struggled with insurmountable fatigue, pain, and nausea,” Irwin told the posts on social media along with a picture of her in a hospital bed.

“A doctor told me it was just something you deal with as a woman, and I just gave up and tried to function through the pain.”

Irwin’s post coincided with both International Women’s Day and Endometriosis Awareness Month.

Endometriosis is “a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus,” according to the US National Institute of Health.

Symptoms may include pelvic pain, heavy period bleeding and fertility problems.

Irwin, 24, said doctors had found 37 lesions, some of which were “very deep and difficult to remove,” but she was now “on the road to recovery.”

“I’m sharing my story for anyone reading this who is quietly dealing with pain and no answers. Let this be your confirmation that your pain is real and you deserve help,” she added.

Anyone with a uterus who is of childbearing age can suffer from the disease, but it is most common among women in their 30s and 40s. About one in 10 people born with a uterus has endometriosis, according to the World Health Organization. The disease affects around 190 million women and girls globally.

Irwin is a celebrity conservationist who has starred in “Crikey! It’s the Irwins”, a reality TV show about her family’s work at the Australia Zoo in Queensland, which her mother owns.

She won “Dancing With the Stars” in 2015 and comes from a family of conservationists that includes her father Steve, the late ‘Crocodile Hunter’ who was killed by a stingray while filming in the Gerat Barrier Reef in 2006.

She gave birth to a daughter, Grace, in March 2021.

“Please pause before you ask me (or any woman) when we’re having more kids,” Irwin wrote in his post Wednesday. “After everything my body has been through, I feel incredibly grateful that we have our beautiful daughter. She feels like our family’s miracle.”

Shortly after her post, 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 completely riddled with endometriosis is something that will inspire me forever.”

Irwin’s brother Robert added on Instagram that “You never know who is suffering in silence, let’s make this a topic we all talk about freely.”

Irwin is the latest in a string of celebrities who have opened up about their struggles with endometriosis.

In a Paramount Plus docuseries released last year, comedian Amy Schumer discussed her decades-long battle with what she called a “lonely disease.” Schumer had her uterus removed in 2021 and shared a video on her Instagram after the surgery.

Comedian Lena Dunham and actress Padma Lakshmi have also been vocal about their experiences with the disease.

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