Halsey has delivered a powerful speech about living with endometriosis – and reminded sufferers everywhere that they should never be made to feel ashamed about their condition.
Halsey was recently honoured by the Endometriosis Foundation of America during its ninth annual Blossom Ball, where she was presented with an award for raising awareness about the disease.
And, speaking out about what it’s really like to be a female artist in the male-dominated music industry, Halsey explained that having to deal with the disorder’s often painful period symptoms while working around men has forced her to become more open about her experience.
“I have male managers in my life,” she explained to Us Weekly.
“I’m surrounded by men all the time. There were times when I was bleeding through my clothes or I was sick and it got to the point where I had to look at everyone around me and be like, ‘You know what? That is something that is a reality for me and you need to suck it up and deal.’”
Halsey continued: “I’m not going to let you make me ashamed of this. We’re going to get through this.”
The singer first spoke about her debilitating disease in 2016 on Twitter (see above), telling her young fans they were not alone and to demand better health care.
“[If] any of you suffer from endometriosis, please know you’re not alone,” she wrote at the time.
“I know how [excruciatingly] painful it can be and how discouraging the disease can be.”
And, during her award acceptance speech, she referenced this same tweet, telling attendees: “A lot of people are taught to believe the pain is normal.
“If you think something is wrong, it probably is. You need to go and demand that someone takes you seriously. Your health is all you have, and especially as a young woman who has reproductive pain, you need to take care of yourself.”
“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.
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.
With the right endometriosis treatment, many of these issues can be addressed, and the symptoms of endometriosis made more manageable. However, as it can only be officially diagnosed with a surgical procedure, a recent report has indicated many women’s symptoms are being confused with other health problems and thus delaying appropriate referrals.
Indeed, with 40% of women saying they had seen a doctor 10 times before being referred to a gynaecologist and 67% saying they obtained most of their information on the subject from the internet, the findings from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Health reveal a lack of awareness around what is considered ‘normal’ menstruation and what indicates a more serious issue.
Thank goodness, then, that so many high-profile women are using their platforms to raise awareness of the condition: as well as Halsey, Lena Dunham, Star Wars’ Daisy Ridley, Dancing with the Stars’ Julianne Hough and Olympian Emily Seebohm have discussed their own experiences of endometriosis – and encouraged sufferers to stop feeling ashamed and seek help from their doctors.
Image: Rex Features