Bindi Irwin Says Doctors Didn’t Take Her Endometriosis Pain Seriously

Bindi Irwin Says Doctors Didn’t Take Her Endometriosis Pain Seriously

Bindi Irwin lived in pain for at least a decade without any answers. Prior to her endometriosis diagnosis, she looked for treatment from medical professionals who weren’t really hearing her. “It’s so hard because you feel like it’s inescapable,” she told People in an interview published on Aug. 23. “You don’t know what’s wrong with you, and then when people tell you ‘it’s all in your head’ or ‘you’re hormonal’ or ‘just have a cup of tea, lay down,’ you end up feeling so desperately alone because there’s no answers.”

Although her pain still wasn’t fully acknowledged, Irwin was tested for everything from Lyme disease to cancer, getting scans and blood tests to try and solve her medical mystery. “I was so scared that they wouldn’t find anything because we had run out of everything else to test for,” she said. “After years of doctors and various people telling you there’s nothing, you really start to believe it. You wind up in this strange space of self-doubt, fear and insecurity.”

In August 2022, her health journey reached a turning point when she found herself curled up on the ground in pain. It was then that Irwin decided to have a laparoscopy, which finally gave her the diagnosis and validation she had been searching for. The procedure proved she had endometriosis, along with 37 lesions and a cyst on her ovary.

Irwin previously opened up about her endometriosis journey in a March 7 Instagram post, sharing a photo of herself in the hospital. “For 10yrs I’ve struggled with insurmountable fatigue, pain & nausea. Trying to remain a positive person & hide the pain has been a very long road,” she wrote.

She added that one of the biggest hurdles in figuring out how to treat her endometriosis was finding someone to validate her concerns. “A doctor told me it was simply something you deal with as a woman & I gave up entirely, trying to function through the pain,” Irwin said, thanking the friend who finally pointed her in the right direction.

“Every part of my life was getting torn apart because of the pain.”

Endometriosis, a condition in which tissue called the endometrium begins growing outside of the uterus, can cause excruciating pain. However, as previously explained to POPSUGAR by Hugh Taylor, MD, professor and chair of obstetrics at Yale University School of Medicine, “Because it’s often mistaken for normal period-related pain, endometriosis is frequently misdiagnosed and left untreated for years, which causes unnecessary suffering and can lead to a number of additional health problems.” In fact, patients may even dismiss their own symptoms, writing them off as bad cramps instead of seeking the medical attention they deserve.

Such was the case for Irwin, until she was finally diagnosed and subsequently chose to undergo surgery. “Going in for surgery was scary but I knew I couldn’t live like I was,” she shared with her Instagram followers. “Every part of my life was getting torn apart because of the pain. To cut a long story short, they found 37 lesions, some very deep & difficult to remove, & a chocolate cyst.”

Irwin recalled how doctors at the Seckin Endometriosis Center asked, “How did you live with this much pain?” following the procedure, which finally offered affirmation that the pain wasn’t just in her head. “Validation for years of pain is indescribable,” she continued.

For anyone who may resonate with Irwin’s story, she encouraged them not to give up and continue searching for answers. “There’s stigma around this awful disease. I’m sharing my story for anyone who reads this & is quietly dealing with pain & no answers,” she said. “Let this be your validation that your pain is real & you deserve help.”

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