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Olivia Culpo’s raw post-surgery photos demonstrate realities of endometriosis

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Kayleigh Dray
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Olivia Culpo’s raw post-surgery photos demonstrate realities of endometriosis

“This isn’t a very glamorous post but I felt like I needed to share this to create more awareness around endometriosis,” says Olivia Culpo.

As a fashion influencer and social media personality, Olivia Culpo’s name has long been synonymous with glamour.

However, she has decided to take her Instagram followers beyond the grid in order to share her struggles with endometriosis.

Why? Because the former Miss Universe is keen to raise awareness about the chronic and debilitating women’s health condition.

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“This isn’t a very glamorous post but I felt like I needed to share this to create more awareness around this disease,” Culpo wrote in the new Instagram post, which has been liked by almost 266,000 people in under 24 hours.

Then, alongside a series of raw post-surgery photos, she explained that the condition causes tissue from her uterine lining to painfully “grow in other random parts” of the body.

“This can interfere with fertility and overall health and, honestly, happiness,” she wrote.

“I have been in agony for years around my period and I was misdiagnosed countless times by doctors,” Culpo continued, recalling how she’d been told to take painkillers, rest more, and remember that “periods are always uncomfortable.”

“[But] painful periods are not normal.”

Culpo added: “To anyone out there who has endometriosis, I understand the depression, and overall loneliness that can occur with a condition that is so painful yet so hard to be interpreted by other people outside of the body.

“It’s hard when chronic pain is not validated and you don’t get an answer or understanding. To my Endo warriors, I will continue to spread more awareness around endometriosis so that your symptoms can be validated.

“You are not alone and you are so strong!”

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Endometriosis is “the name given to the condition where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb (uterus) are found elsewhere in the body,” explains Endometriosis UK.

“Each month these cells react in the same way to those in the womb, building up and then breaking down and bleeding. Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as a period, this blood has no way to escape.”

The condition can cause painful and/or heavy periods, as well as fatigue, bowel issues, bladder problems, depression and infertility.

According to the NHS, the main symptoms of endometriosis are:

  • pain in your lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period
  • period pain that stops you doing your normal activities
  • pain during or after sex
  • pain when peeing or pooing during your period
  • feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your pee during your period
  • difficulty getting pregnant
  • heavy periods

Around 1.5 million women in the UK are currently living with the condition. Endometriosis can affect all women and girls of a childbearing age, and can have a significant impact on their life in a number or ways.

However, with the right endometriosis treatment, many of these issues can be addressed, and the symptoms of endometriosis made more manageable.

You can find more advice and support on the Endometriosis UK website now.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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