Health

Daisy Ridley Opens up About Her Struggle With a Taboo Disease

Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," is best known for fighting the evil Kylo Ren. But in a recent personal Instagram post, she revealed her near decades-long fight against endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. 

Endometriosis is an often painful ovarian syndrome in which "tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside the uterus," according to the Mayo Clinic.

 

A photo posted by @daisyridley on

Her lengthy caption details her diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment, along with the insecurities and frustrations that came along with them:

"One laparoscopy, many consultations and 8 years down the line, pain was back (more mild this time!) and my skin was THE WORST. I've tried everything: products, antibiotics, more products, more antibiotics) and all that did was left my body in a bit of a mess. Finally found out I have polycycstic ovaries and that's why it's bad. I can safely say feeling so self conscious has left my confidence in tatters. I hate wearing make up but I currently don't want to leave the house without it on."

graphic of endometriosis

Ridley explained her progress in dealing with endometriosis, including cutting sugar and dairy out of her diet and seeking help from a dermatologist.

She writes the following, which touches on the taboos and gender issues surrounding the disorder:

"My point is, to any of you who are suffering with anything, go to a doctor; pay for a specialist; get your hormones tested, get allergy testing; keep on top of how your body is feeling and don't worry about sounding like a hypochondriac."

Many women who suffer from endometriosis don't seek help because of the way that female pain is often stigmatized and dismissed by doctors. Other celebrities have recently opened up about their struggle with the condition as a way to urge women to take their pain seriously.

padma-lakshmi

In April, Padma Lakshmi, host of Bravo's "Top Chef," made a plea similar to Ridley's at Tina Brown's Women in the World Summit:

“Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong,” Lakshmi explained. “It is not okay for you to be bedridden for two or three or four or five days every month because of the fact that you’re a woman or the fact that you have a period. That is abnormal. And I and millions of other women are conditioned to think that it’s just a part of being a woman, and it’s really not.”

Ridley's post, which at the time of publication, has garnered more than 217,000 likes and more than 5,500 comments, including several in which women share their own experience with endometriosis:

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You can learn more about endometriosis here.

[h/t Entertainment Tonight]

Correction: 6/20 8:30 a.m. PST: This story was corrected to include that Ridley struggles with both endometriosis and PCOS.