Amy Schumer has been through a lot over the past few years as she’s battled endometriosis. The actress and comedian has been very open about her experiences with the disease in the hopes of supporting other women who are also struggling.
Schumer also used her diagnosis to build awareness around the disease, as many women don’t realize they have it until it’s too late. And Schumer definitely isn’t alone in her struggles with endometriosis. Olivia Culpo, Halsey and Chrissy Teigen have all struggled with endometriosis.
Amy Schumer and her struggle with endometriosis revealed
Amy Schumer has no doubt had a tough couple of years, and not just with endometriosis. In fact, she first opened up about her health struggles in 2018 when she revealed to her fans that she was suffering from a severe kidney infection. In late 2020, Schumer then opened up about her struggles with Lyme disease.
Her struggle with endometriosis has seen her go under the knife multiple times in order to try and get rid of 30 spots of endometriosis that her doctor found. The drastic surgery resulted in Schumer losing both her uterus and appendix to the disease.
Schumer explained what had happened via an emotional Instagram video post. Adding that if you struggle with painful periods, you might well have endometriosis. Her latest update came this week as she revealed that she had undergone the necessary surgery for her endometriosis.
She also admitted to having liposuction and thanked both doctors for helping her feel good again.
“I feel good. Finally. It’s been a journey thanks for helping me get my strength back @seckinmd (endo) @jordanternermd (lipo)….I never thought I would do anything but talk to me after your uterus doesn’t contract for 2.5 years, and you turn 40.”
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis affects between 2% and 10% of American women, usually between the ages of 25 and 40. The endometrial tissue which lines the uterus begins to grow outside the uterus in the pelvic and abdominal cavities.
During the mental cycle, the tissue breaks down as it typically would inside the uterus. However, because the tissue is in the pelvic and/or abdominal cavities, the blood has no way of exiting the body. This, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “leads to inflammation, swelling, and scarring of the normal tissue” as the blood remains trapped.
As the tissue is continuously irritated, scar tissue and adhesions (which are bands of fibrous tissue) cause the pelvic tissues and organs to stick together. Endometriosis causes pain which can be severe and, in the long term, fertility issues.
What causes endometriosis and the symptoms to look out for
Currently, the cause of endometriosis is not very well understood. It seems that anatomical, hormonal, immunological, estrogenic, genetic, epigenetic, and even environmental factors may potentially play a part.
Risk factors seem to include: Having your first period at an early age, short menstrual cycles (less than 27 days), long duration of menstrual flow (longer than seven days), heavy bleeding during menstruation, higher levels of estrogen in your body, low BMI, delayed childbearing and family history.
According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms to look out for include:
- Painful periods
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain associated with bowel movements or urination
- Excessive bleeding during or even between periods
- Fertility issues
Why does it go undiagnosed?
Unfortunately, one of the major issues with endometriosis is that the symptoms can be fairly nonspecific and are, thus, difficult to pin down. In fact, though the symptoms above are generalized, they can vary hugely from case to case, making it very difficult for doctors to successfully make a diagnosis.
It also tends to overlap with other diseases such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). This results in millions of women suffering for much longer than is necessary and, in most cases, dealing with exceptionally painful periods month to month without knowing the cause. It is estimated that around 190 million women (about 10%) worldwide suffer from endometriosis.
But with so many going undiagnosed and believing that they simply suffer from painful periods, it’s almost impossible to know the actual number. It’s, for this reason, that we should praise celebrities like Schumer for being so honest and open about the condition.
Unfortunately for Schumer, she lost both her appendix and her uterus. But, if the disease is caught early enough, it can be solved without such drastic action having to be taken. All too often, we tend to keep struggles, especially health-related ones, to ourselves. But talking more openly about the disease and its many facets will likely result in many more women being tested and treated.
If you are concerned and think you may have endometriosis, it’s best to go and see your gynecologist as quickly as possible.