Celebrities Who Have Been Diagnosed With Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common illness that affects many women — celebrity women, of course, included. Endometriosis is the medical way of saying that the endometrium, the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus, is actually growing outside of the uterus (via Mayo Clinic). In some cases, this condition causes severe pain. The pain occurs because the tissues that are growing outside of the uterus still act as uterine tissue by thickening, breaking down, and shedding during menses. However, since they are not in the right location anatomically, the tissue has no way of leaving the body and gets trapped, causing pain.

Unfortunately, the cause of endometriosis is not definitive. Additionally, there are many side effects that extend far beyond the monthly pain that is caused by endometriosis. One of the most commonly discussed side effects of untreated endometriosis is infertility (via Mayo Clinic). While many may be reluctant to talk about the disease, some celebrities are becoming more and more outspoken about their individual journeys with endometriosis and subsequent fertility struggles.

Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer, who had her uterus, appendix, and 30 endometrial spots outside of the uterus removed, told NBC News that she felt hopeful and ultimately glad that she made that decision. Schumer has chronicled her journey on Instagram, and in doing so she has been able to bring awareness to endometriosis.

In 2019, prior to her surgery, Schumer gave birth to a son and was transparent about her struggles with her pregnancy. She also revealed her decision to pursue IVF and freeze her eggs (via Today). While much of what Schumer has shared ranges beyond the confines of just "endometriosis," her story resonates with many women around the world. By speaking so openly about her struggles with the disease, Schumer and her cohorts have helped bring the word "endometriosis" into the mainstream lexicon. As Schumer told NBC News, "When I get a helpful female tidbit I like to pass it on to my sisters."

Lena Dunham

Perhaps one of the most outspoken and admirable women in the limelight is Lena Dunham. Dunham broke the internet with the 2018 publication of a tell-all explaining her experience with endometriosis and her subsequent decision to have a hysterectomy. In this evocative piece, Dunham outlines the pain and suffering caused by the illness itself, and what it was like to go through a hysterectomy at 31 years old. 

Dunham detailed the mental gymnastics she has put herself through in order to live peacefully with her decision. She always knew she wanted kids, but the organ necessary for housing them was causing her debilitating pain. After years of struggling with this, she advocated for herself and pursued surgery to have her uterus removed. At the time of her writing, she was still grappling with many of the side effects of such an invasive surgery. Dunham speaks on behalf of many women who endure pain at the hands of endometriosis as she explains how personal the decision is. She also empathizes with the many women who seek out hysterectomies as a potential solution to their pain, only to be told by doctors that they will change their minds about having kids in the future. 

Padma Lakshmi

It is really easy to binge-watch "Top Chef" and envy host Padma Lakshmi. After all, she gets to sample as much gourmet food as she desires. However, Lakshmi revealed that eating heavily is actually a detriment when it comes to living with endometriosis. Because "everything is inflamed," heavy eating can cause further pain and discomfort in those with the disorder, she told WebMD.

Lakshmi recalled her early days on "Top Chef," when she would have to sit down and use a heating pad to get through days of shooting. She went on to reveal the uncertainty she felt throughout her life, saying that she often wondered if she was being a "sissy" since so many women take their menstrual cycles in stride. 

Lakshmi ultimately went on to have three laparoscopic surgeries. "It wasn't until a year after that [final surgery] I really healed enough to see what life was like for a normal woman," she explained. Her frustration with her drawn-out diagnosis and treatment drove her to cofound EndoFound, a foundation that advocates for patients, helps fun research, and raises awareness about endometriosis (via WebMD). 

Julianne Hough

Julianne Hough is a celebrity who seemingly does it all, but apparently, she does so while coping with a lot of pain on the regular. After having emergency surgery in 2008, Hough went public with her endometriosis diagnosis. "I think for me it was that I felt it wasn't an okay thing to talk about. I'm a woman, and so I should just be strong, not complain, and stuff like that. Then I realized, the more I spoke about it, the more my friends and family found out that they had endometriosis," Hough admitted in a candid Q&A with Healthline

Hough went on to explain that she hopes to encourage women not to suffer through endometriosis in silence. A strong support system of people who love her has helped her through her darkest moments. She encouraged people who are living with endometriosis to speak openly about their illness with the people close to them and cited feeling understood as a huge part of pain management. Advocating for her mental health throughout her journey has helped her lead a fulfilling and active life, despite her diagnosis.


Halsey is an outspoken singer-songwriter who has never been one to shy away from full candor, no matter how taboo the topic. In one tweet, she likened having endometriosis to being a "prisoner in your own body." She explained that being diagnosed with the disease was "bittersweet" because while it was a difficult metaphorical pill to swallow, she also felt relieved as she realized she wasn't being "a big baby about [her] period" as some doctors initially alluded to.

As Teen Vogue detailed, it takes women, on average, about 10 years to receive an endometriosis diagnosis, which is why many feel a sense of relief even while being diagnosed with a chronic illness. Halsey has been open about feeling like many doctors passed judgment on her complaints. After having surgery for the disease, Halsey addressed her fans once more, writing, "In my recovery I am thinking of all of you and how you give me the strength and stamina to power through and prosper. If you suffer from chronic pain or a debilitating disease please know that I have found time to live a crazy, wild, rewarding life AND balance my treatment and I hope so much in my heart that you can too" (via Teen Vogue).

Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union was well into her 40s when she finally received a proper diagnosis. She was told she has adenomyosis, a condition similar to endometriosis but with its own differences and complications (via People). Adenomyosis affects the endometrium as well, but instead of growing outside of the uterus, it makes the tissues grow thick and tough within the confines of the organ. The thickening of the uterine tissues can cause painful, heavy bleeding, pressure on the bladder and rectum, and even change the way your pelvic muscles contract (per WebMD). 

"Instead of diagnosing me they were like 'Oh you have periods that last 9 or 10 days and you're bleeding through overnight pads...perhaps there's something more there,'" she explained at the 2018 BlogHer conference (via People). She was prescribed birth control to lessen her periods. "The pill can mask all kinds of things," she continued. "It is amazing at preventing pregnancy; not so great with addressing adenomyosis."

According to eMedicine Health, it is unknown if adenomyosis is linked with infertility, although it could be. Union revealed her history of miscarriages in her book, "We're Going to Need More Wine" (via People).

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg was one of the "lucky" few women who received a correct endometriosis diagnosis relatively early in her life. She found out about 40 years ago, according to Everyday Health. Goldberg spoke at the 2009 Blossom Ball and encouraged women to speak out to raise awareness about the disease (via EndoFound). She explained that even people in her tight-knit circle were unfamiliar with endometriosis and its detrimental effects. By encouraging everyone present to talk about the disease, Goldberg hoped to expand the base of knowledge and help women who need care receive it. She added that spreading the word about endometriosis is not a black and white, binary mission. 

"You have a duty tonight," she challenged the audience. "You only have to tell one other person what you heard." The more people who know about it and are willing to speak up, the more people can be helped.

Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon is a mature woman of Hollywood who has not been shy about her personal experience with endometriosis. Back in 2011, she took the stage at the Blossom Ball to share details about her journey and provide hope to other women with the disease. Sarandon outlined her experience in her speech and explained that after years of "half-assed" diagnoses, and ill-thought-out treatments, she knew she needed to take a stand (via Endometriosis).

The actress aggressively believes the same things that many other celebrity activists for endometriosis believe — you should not take "no" for an answer. "When all you know is pain you don't know that that is not normal. It is not a woman's lot to suffer, even if we've been raised that way," she stated. With a proper diagnosis and the right treatment, endometriosis does not have to take away from a woman's quality of life, she explained.

Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels revealed her trepidation in going public with her endometriosis diagnosis. In 2010, Michaels told Redbook, "I thought if I talked about my personal limitations, people would say, 'How healthy could she be?" She continued by explaining that it took time for her to rework her thinking and to remove the shame surrounding the diagnosis and her fertility struggles. 

In an interview with "The Real," Michaels talked about having both PCOS and endometriosis and shared some advice about egg freezing. An OB-GYN who she respects advises women to freeze their eggs at age 25. She elaborated, saying that the egg-freezing process is easier, less expensive, and less invasive on your body when you are younger. 

Sadly, the shame that Michaels experienced is a common thread that ties many women with endometriosis together. Her willingness to speak out about her experiences and uncertainty with infertility is certain to open up the conversation for women who are currently seeking answers.

Emma Bunton

Emma Bunton, aka Baby Spice of Spice Girls fame, was diagnosed with endometriosis at only 25 years old. "That nearly broke me. I knew I had the right partner; I knew I wanted to be a mum," she told The Telegraph (via The Bump). "I didn't give up hope, but it wasn't happening." After five long years of fertility struggles, Bunton finally became pregnant and, as of this writing, has two sons.

In June 2021, Bunton revealed on the British show "Lorraine" that she and her partner would love to add to their already-adorable family (via Daily Mail). However, Bunton spoke with You Magazine around the same time, saying she believes she is perimenopausal. That combined with her endometriosis can make conceiving difficult. Additionally, many women with endometriosis experience harsher periods and symptoms as they creep towards menopause (per Gennev). "So, with the baby, some days I think, 'Right! Let's do it,' and then other days I don't know if I can," Bunton told the magazine. "If it happens, of course, it would be amazing."

Cyndi Lauper

At every karaoke night, Cyndi Lauper reminds us that girls just wanna have fun. But endometriosis can surely make that challenging. In an interview with the Independent, Lauper explained that she dealt with endometriosis all throughout her 30s. She said that she would record an album and then go to the hospital, only to be released and then thrust back into the same cycle. She detailed how her hospitalizations and hectic and demanding work schedule worked inharmoniously and added a significant amount of pressure to her life. 

Lauper endured a few surgeries as a result of her ongoing struggles with endometriosis. She fought hard with a surgeon, as outlined in her memoir, in order to keep all of her organs and "tubes" and have them only remove the endometrial tissue. Additionally, upon finding out she had endometriosis, she learned about the presence of a grapefruit-sized tumor in her stomach. She was able to have it removed, along with other, smaller tumors.

At the age of 43, Lauper had yet to conceive a child. She sought out alternative treatment from a fertility doctor in Chinatown, New York and, when Lauper was 44, she gave birth to her son. Many women who are struggling to conceive can undoubtedly relate to Lauper's perseverance (via Independent).

Jaime King

Jaime King is a model and actress who has bravely placed her fertility struggles in the limelight. When she was 28 years old, King was diagnosed with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that can cause ovarian cysts, though not always. The illness is often marked by an imbalance of reproductive hormones that can cause a variety of undesirable side effects. King spoke out in an interview with People regarding her diagnoses in hopes to break the stigma surrounding them. 

King experienced a few miscarriages, underwent multiple rounds of IVF and 26 rounds of intrauterine insemination, and had an ectopic pregnancy on her journey to have children. Though she now has two children of her own, King strongly advocates for breaking the stigmas surrounding female reproductive struggles, especially when they are causing young women so much pain. As she explained to People, "I was hiding what I was going through for so long, and I hear about so many women going through what I went through. If I'm open about it, hopefully it won't be so taboo to talk about it."

Daisy Ridley

"Star Wars" star Daisy Ridley was diagnosed with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome after years of struggle and pain, the actress explained in an Instagram post (via Entertainment Weekly). 

Ridley warned against the shame and fear of sounding like a hypochondriac — the same feelings that so many women have expressed when trying to get a diagnosis. She reminded her fans that we all only get one body and it is our own responsibility to care for it in the best ways we can, even if that means seeking out multiple medical opinions. As the old adage goes, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." In the case of taking charge of your own reproductive and future physical health, it is important to advocate for yourself — even if that means standing up for yourself when you feel you are being dismissed, as Ridley highlighted in her post (via Entertainment Weekly).