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.”
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I just have to say that when I saw this I was so pleasantly suprised. I am 25 and was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was just 19. I had gone through years of friends, family and even doctors dismissing my symptoms and it wasn't until I stood up and said "Hey! I think I have this, now lets diagnose me!" My doctor told me it was a waste of their time to do the surgery but guess what... they were ALL wrong! And I finally got the answers I had been searching for. Being told when you are 19 that you should try to have kids within 5 years is daunting and it was a struggle for years to come to terms with my condition. But seeing women everyday with this condition who end up with beautiful healthy children is so uplifting. I am so insanely excited that you have come out to shed light on this awful, painful condition that affects so many women and their health and relationships. Thank you for this.
Sarah from Kansas