For anyone experiencing endometriosis, you’ll understand that the condition often feels like an invisible one. Now, Amy Schumer is shedding light on endometriosis as she details her own painful, private battle.
For someone who has made a career out of bringing audiences to tears of joy as they experience the belly ache of laughing so much, Amy Schumer is a comedian whose life has also been one of great pain.
Having suffered from endometriosis for so much of it, Schumer has had to navigate the often debilitating cramps and various symptoms that for many sufferers makes the disorder feel like an invisible illness; one that is hugely misunderstood and consequently, leads many to feel isolated and alone. Always one to speak her truth however, Schumer is now doing all she can to shed light on the issue and ensure endometriosis gains the awareness and recognition it deserves as she shares her own experience with the condition. “It’s really a lonely, lonely disease,” said Schumer.
In a recent episode of the new docuseries The Checkup with Dr. Davis Agus, Schumer opened up about the painful symptoms she faced while struggling with the disorder, before coming to the decision to undergo a procedure to treat it.
“I’ve been in so much pain, you know, my whole life – not just the week of my period; it’s [also] during ovulation,” Schumer explained, noting that her pain, which first began when she started her period, was ongoing for decades. “I would hopefully get a good week a month where I wasn’t in pretty significant pain, [but] still trying to achieve, still trying to go through life. It’s been really difficult.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, endometriosis is a disorder in which “tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus – the endometrium – grows outside your uterus.” As a result, it commonly involves the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and tissue lining one’s pelvis, with sufferers often experiencing painful cramping during their period, along with cramping during intercourse, urination and bowel movements.
As Endometriosis Australia suggests, more than 11 per cent of Australian women, girls and those who are gender diverse suffer from endometriosis at some point in their life, with the disease often starting in teenagers. Furthermore, the organisation estimates that endometriosis costs Australian society $9.7 billion annually “with two-thirds of these costs attributed to a loss in productivity, with the remainder, approximately $2.5 billion being direct healthcare costs.”
To combat her symptoms, Schumer decided to undergo a hysterectomy at the end of 2021 to help treat her endometriosis. She also underwent an appendectomy; a removal of the appendix after doctors found a tumour in her appendix that was caused by endometriosis. For Schumer, it was somewhat validating to take control of her health, after she had told people “for months” that she was in pain, only for it to be dismissed or brushed aside.
“It was just this pain you can’t see. And, you know, there is the inclination to always think a woman is just being dramatic,” said Schumer. “You tell someone you get really bad cramps and they’re like, ‘Oh, well, being a woman…’ And you’re like, ‘No, it’s irregular.’”
Since having the procedure, Schumer admits she feels like “a new person” and that the pain is gone. “It just felt like someone lifted this veil that had been over me. And I just felt like a different person, like a new mum,” says Schumer, who regrets nothing about the surgery. “If the trade off is that you will have a little scar on your belly button and one right next to it…I think scars are cool.”
In sharing her story, Schumer hopes other women will feel inspired to come forward and regain a sense of autonomy for their health and that they will feel empowered to seek answers to their health issues. As she continues to be an advocate for women’s health and encourage others to speak up for themselves if they’re experiencing irregular aches and pains during their menstrual cycles, Schumer has been an incredible voice of support for countless people.
As she expressed in a 2021 Instagram post, “My pain is real. Your pain is real. We have to advocate for ourselves. We have to speak up. And you know what? I’m worried this video is annoying, but I don’t care, because I hope that it helps one woman go and find out why she’s in so much pain.”
Source @womenshealth.com.au: Read more at : womenalive.org