The first time Julianne Hough heard about endometriosis was from her roommate. “She told me she had it, and even though we had the exact same symptoms, I told her it was too medical-sounding and complicated for me to have, too,” she says. At the time, the Dancing With the Stars celeb was 18 and battling serious pain, but was too intimidated by the word to look into it. And when she finally did Google it, the information she came across was too overwhelming for her to process. (If you’ve ever fallen down the WebMD rabbit hole, you can probably relate.)
But now, a decade later, Hough has a much better understanding and wants to correct a common misconception many people have: “It’s not that scary,” she says. “Yes, there are scary parts of it, but if you have the right information and the right doctor, being diagnosed can actually feel like a relief because then you can put a name to the pain. At least that’s how I felt.” AKA you can tell anyone saying you should just pop a Midol and deal with it to pipe down.
“Yes, there are scary parts of it, but if you have the right information and the right doctor, being diagnosed can actually feel like a relief because then you can put a name to the pain.”
Once Hough armed herself with the right information and learned how to better manage her symptoms, she started to realize just how common endometriosis was. “Two of my three sisters, my mom, and some of my friends also ended up getting diagnosed after I told them about it,” she says. “When I saw the effect I had in just my immediate circle, it made me want to speak out about it in a bigger way.” It’s why the actress-slash-activewear designer teamed up with MEinEndo.com, which has a checklist of symptoms, advice on what to ask your doctor, and helpful lifestyle tips.
“Being diagnosed and putting a name to the pain made me feel that I didn’t have to be as strong as I thought I had to be or ignore the fact that I was in pain and I had to pretend like everything is fine,” Hough says. And it certainly hasn’t slowed her down.
Julianne Hough isn’t the only celebrity who has endometriosis. Here, Tia Mowry shares her experience, and how she helped herself heal by changing her diet. Plus, this at-home yoga routine is designed to ease pelvic pain.