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Image / Living / Culture

Mandy Moore says her pregnancy was ‘unexpected’ due to endometriosis


by Jennifer McShane
28th Jan 2021
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The singer has opened up about her struggle to conceive.

Endometriosis is a word that 1 in 10 women hear from their gynaecologist, relating to their ongoing pain or as an explanation for their fertility problems. It is one of the most commonly seen gynaecological diseases, yet is poorly understood and not commonly talked about. Chances are, we all know at least one person with it; this chronic condition that seems to baffle the medical community (there remains no cure for it, bar managing symptoms).

Endometriosis is a common chronic (long-term) inflammatory condition where tissue, similar to the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus, grows outside of the uterus. It can have a profound effect on people’s lives. The most common places where endometriosis occurs are the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the bowel, and the areas in front, on the back, and to the sides of the uterus. It can also be found on the bladder and bowel. In some cases, it is found outside the pelvis (lung, skin, brain, diaphragm).

The This is Us star is the latest to speak out about her dealings with it, as she struggled to conceive.

She told Romper she was preparing to have surgery when she unexpectedly found out she was pregnant. “We did ovulation tests, all that stuff,” she explained. When nothing was happening, she said decided to visit a fertility specialist, who informed her that there was an issue with her uterus and that she might have endometriosis.

“I was fully prepared to go have surgery and fix my uterus and hopefully get rid of the endometriosis, if it was there,” she said. “It was nice to have a plan and to know, OK, well, this is why I haven’t been pregnant yet.”

She added that the process of getting pregnant and preparing for surgery revealed to her how little she knew about her own anatomy. “I guess I understand why doctors tell you, like, ‘Oh, just try for a year, and then if nothing happens, you can start sort of investigating.’ But I was like, man, I wish I had known before. It would have been a game-changer had I had that information.”

She is now expecting a little boy with husband Taylor Goldsmith.

Moore follows public figures such as writer and actress Lena Dunham who frequently speaks about what it’s like to live with chronic pain. She’s spoken out about her history with endometriosis and subsequent hysterectomy at the age of 31.

Symptoms of endometriosis can begin prior to the first menstrual period, and for most people, symptoms persist throughout their lives. It can persist into menopause. Endometriosis has been found in cis males (born male), trans males, pre-menarcheal girls and postmenopausal women.

Symptoms may be worse at certain times in the cycle, with ovulation, prior to menstruation and during the period being the most severe for many women. While some women with endometriosis experience severe pelvic pain, others have no symptoms at all or regard their symptoms as simply being period pain/cramps.

For more information, see endometriosis.ie

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