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What Is Endometriosis? Here's Everything You Need to Know

English actress Daisy Ridley has become well-known thanks to her role as Rey in the new Star Wars sequel trilogy, starting with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but she is also someone who has been vocal about her health struggles, specifically her endometriosis diagnosis.

In an interview with Australia’s Elle magazine, she spoke about how she was diagnosed with the painful condition of the uterus, in which the tissue that usually lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of the uterus (this can cause pain, which is sometimes severe during a woman’s period). For Ridley, the stress of her breakout role in 2015 caused her condition to worsen, and she revealed, "I was in my flat going nuts, and then my skin got really bad with the stress of it all, and I hadn't been well — I had holes in my gut wall and stuff — and we were trying to figure out what to do with that because I'd felt poorly.” The publication notes that her condition became so severe that she had to move in with her sister, and while it has been helpful for Ridley to speak about her health struggles so publicly, there may still be some confusion about her condition and the effects it has on the body.

Medicine Net notes that the exact cause of the condition has not been identified but that it is defined by the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue, similar to that which lines the uterus, but is found outside of the uterus. According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods, starting with pelvic pain and cramping before the period, as well as a few days later. This could also include lower back pain. During the period, a woman may also have pain with bowel movement or urination and excessive bleeding (either occasional heavy bleeding during the period, or bleeding in between periods).

Pain with intercourse is another common side effect, and those who have the condition may also experience fatigue, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating, especially during the period.

In some cases, endometriosis could also result in infertility. And although it is more common in women who are experiencing infertility, it does not necessarily affect fertility.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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