"You don’t have to suffer," Top Chef host says.

on Mar 25, 2011 - The Dish

Padma Lakshmi of Top Chef
Padma Lakshmi is continuing to speak out about endometriosis, a painful condition that affects some 176 million women worldwide and may account for up to half of all cases of infertility, in hopes of helping other women who may be going through the same difficulties she faced. "You don’t have to suffer," the Top Chef host tells OK! Magazine. “You have a right to get the best treatment and the best quality of life that you can.”

Padma first encountered excruciating menstrual pain in her teens, and found herself battling the condition for more than 20 years before finally being diagnosed in 2006. She knew then that she had to share her story in hopes of helping other women struggling with through endometriosis. In 2009, she founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America, and recently hosted their third annual Blossom Ball fundraiser.

"It's never easy to talk about your period, but it was such an important subject, and I'm so thankful that I have my daughter, that I couldn't help but pay it forward and speak out, because I don't want other women to go through what I went through," she tells the magazine. "I have so many women friends who didn't know they have endometriosis until it was too late, and it was such an important cause that I had no choice. I would've been morally corrupt if I didn't put my own ego aside, and open my mouth. That's really how I feel about it."

Thankfully, endometriosis didn't affect Padma's ability to get pregnant – she says she’s delighting in sharing Indian traditions with her daughter Krishna. And Padma also assured OK! that she's now healthy and well, and also took the opportunity to make light of a very serious situation. "I will tell you me and my privates are doing well. We're happy, we're healthy.”

What are other fans saying about Padma’s fight? Follow the conversation with our Tweet Tracker.