lena dunham
1 / 13

Lena Dunham

The creator and star of the HBO series Girls has been dealing with endometriosis pain for more than a decade. She’s had eight surgeries and tried many other treatments, including acupuncture and pelvic floor therapy, before making a controversial choice. In early 2018, at the age of 31, Dunham had a hysterectomy. She wrote a deeply personal essay for Vogue about her decision.

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padma lakshmi
2 / 13

Padma Lakshmi

It took 23 years for doctors to take this food writer, actress, and model seriously and diagnose her with endometriosis. She said at a fundraiser this year that she had “so much heavy bleeding, cramps, nausea, backaches and digestive issues that I was stuck in bed one week out of every month when my period came.”

In 2009, she founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America, an advocacy group. The next year, she gave birth to a daughter.

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susan sarandon
3 / 13

Susan Sarandon

This actress was given what she calls an incomplete diagnosis after dealing with fainting and bleeding for years. Her doctors put her on birth control pills and painkillers. She went on to have three children and says she’s “one of the lucky ones.”

Sarandon tells women to listen to their bodies and act on what they feel.

“This isn’t part of being a woman,” she said at an Endometriosis Foundation event in 2016. “Something can be done.”

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whoopi goldberg
4 / 13

Whoopi Goldberg

This actress and television host had endometriosis about 30 years ago but was lucky enough to have good doctors who caught it early and cleared up her symptoms. Partly as a result of her experience, she created Whoopi & Maya, a line of cannabis products designed to relieve menstrual pain.

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jillian michaels
5 / 13

Jillian Michaels

Michaels, a personal trainer and television personality best known for her role on The Biggest Loser, learned early on that she had endometriosis and polycystic ovaries, and that having a child could be a problem for her.

Michaels adopted a daughter in 2012, and her then-fiancée Heidi Rhoades gave birth to their son the same year.

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emma bunton
6 / 13

Emma Bunton

A singer-songwriter and member of the Spice Girls (she’s “Baby Spice”), Bunton was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 25.

“I remember the doctor saying at the time, ‘Fifty percent of women with endometriosis go on to have children.’ I thought, ‘Only 50 percent?’ It scared the life out of me,” she told the Daily Mail. She went on to give birth to two sons.

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cyndi lauper
7 / 13

Cyndi Lauper

This Grammy-winning recording artist had endometriosis in her 30s. “I would do an album and go to hospital, then do another album and go to hospital,” she told The Independent. She struggled with infertility as a result. After seeing a fertility doctor who gave her acupuncture, Lauper gave birth to her son Declyn at age 44.

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julianne hough
8 / 13

Julianne Hough

This Dancing with the Stars champ ignored her pain for years. Then in 2008, she doubled over from abdominal pain that, she told People, “felt like a knife was being stabbed in me.” So she agreed to go to the hospital. She had surgery to remove an ovarian cyst, her appendix, and scar tissue on her bladder and fallopian tubes.

She married National Hockey League star Brooks Laich in 2017.  The couple hopes to start a family soon.

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tia mowry
9 / 13

Tia Mowry

Best known for her starring role on the ’90s sitcom Sister, Sister, Mowry has had two surgeries and follows an anti-inflammatory diet to control her endometriosis. She has struggled with fertility issues but went on to have a son, Cree, in 2011, and a daughter, Cairo, in 2018.

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monica
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Monica

In June 2017, this R&B singer revealed to her Instagram followers that she had an 8-hour surgery to remove cysts, fibroids, and a hernia caused by endometriosis. She didn’t know she had the condition until a couple of weeks before the surgery.

Monica told People that her doctors diagnosed her after she sought treatment for migraine. She is a mother of three.

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halsey
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Halsey

Halsey, a singer, has been open about her endometriosis on social media, using the hashtag #endowarrior. She has endured multiple surgeries and had a miscarriage at 20 years old.

“It can feel like a direct attack on your womanhood,” Halsey said at a 2018 fundraiser for the Endometriosis Foundation of America. But, she adds, she now knows she can “overcome anything.”

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jaime king
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Jaime King

King, a model and actress, keeps healthy with yoga and an anti-inflammatory diet. But life with endometriosis hasn’t been easy. She had five miscarriages before giving birth to her first son in 2013.

“It's detrimental that women don't talk about these things, because when you go through it, you feel like you're suffering in silence by yourself,” she told Fit Pregnancy.

King gave birth to her second son in 2015.

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bethenny frankel
13 / 13

Bethenny Frankel

In an open letter on Facebook titled “Getting Real About My Health,” Real Housewives star and entrepreneur Frankel revealed her struggles with endometriosis, including heavy bleeding, trips to the hospital, second opinions, and scary surgeries.

Her daughter Bryn was born in 2010.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 11/19/2018 Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on November 19, 2018

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U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office on Women’s Health: “Endometriosis.”

Vogue: “In Her Own Words: Lena Dunham on Her Decision to Have a Hysterectomy at 31.”

Variety: “Padma Lakshmi: ‘I Was Being Penalized Because I Have a Uterus.’ ”

Extra: “Jillian Michaels Clears Air on Pregnancy Remarks.”

Daily Mail: “Who loves ya, Baby?”

The Independent: “The girl still wants to have fun.”

People: “Dancing with the Stars' Julianne Hough: 'I Was Really Scared,’ ” “Why Monica Spoke Out About Endometriosis: I Want Women to 'Know They're Not Alone.’ ”

E! News: “How Julianne Hough's Husband Brooks Laich Helps Her With Painful Endometriosis.”

Women’s Health: “Tia Mowry Says Endometriosis Made It Hard For Her To Get Pregnant.”

Essence: “Tia Mowry-Hardrict Was ‘In Denial’ About Being Pregnant After Struggling With Endometriosis.”

Health: “Jaime King on Her Struggle With Endometriosis, How She's Living a Healthy Life, and Habits She's Teaching Her Kids.”

Fit Pregnancy: “Jaime King on Fertility Struggle: ‘I Felt Broken.’ ”

The Hollywood Reporter: “Lena Dunham, Susan Sarandon Talk Endometriosis.”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on November 19, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.