Bindi Irwin undergoes huge surgery after enduring a decade of ‘insurmountable pain’
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Bindi Irwin has opened up about her private health battle with endometriosis, a condition that affects at least one in nine girls, women and those assigned female at birth.
Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue that typically lines the uterus grows in other parts of the body.
Rogue tissue often grows on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining the pelvis, and occasionally beyond the area where pelvic organs are located.
The scar tissue can prevent pregnancy and can cause organs to stick together, which is an extremely painful experience that many women suffer, according to Better Health Victoria.
Irwin made her suffering public with a post on International Women's Day.
"Dear Friends, I battled for a long time wondering if I should share this journey with you in such a public space. It came down to the responsibility I feel to share my story for other women who need help," The Australia Zoo animal warrior wrote.
"For ten years I’ve struggled with insurmountable fatigue, pain & nausea. Trying to remain a positive person and hide the pain has been a very long road. These last ten years have included many tests, doctors visits, scans, etc.
"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."
It wasn't until Doug the Pug came along that things changed for Irwin.
Yep, you did read that correctly. Doug the freakin' pug.
Doug's human mum, Leslie Mosier, is also a well known endometriosis advocate.
"[She] helped set me on a path of regaining my life. I decided to undergo surgery for endometriosis. Going in for surgery was scary but I knew I couldn’t live like I was. Every part of my life was getting torn apart because of the pain," Irwin said.
Irwin revealed doctors found 37 lesions that her endometriosis had caused and a cyst, with specialists asking her how she had lived so long with the amount of pain she suffered as a result.
"Validation for years of pain is indescribable," she said.
She called on people to 'be gentle and pause before asking me (or any woman) when we’ll be having more children'.
Irwin went on to call her daughter Grace a 'miracle'.
Bindi then had a message for the millions of women struggling with a similar story.
"There’s stigma around this awful disease. I’m sharing my story for anyone who reads this and is quietly dealing with pain and no answers," Irwin said.
"Let this be your validation that your pain is real and you deserve help. Keep searching for answers."