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Tia Mowry talks candidly about endometriosis diagnosis

PICTURED: Tia Mowry

ACTRESS TIA Mowry has written candidly about her endometriosis diagnosis in a bid to raise awareness about the condition and provide support for others.

The Sister Sister star who is living with the condition has shared her experience of the condition and related fertility issues in an opinion piece for Oprah Magazine.

Endometriosis is a condition where the endometrium, the tissue that lines the womb, is found outside the womb. While symptoms vary, they are often painful and include lower tummy or back pain, extremely severe period pain that can prevent women and girls from doing every day activities and difficulty in getting pregnant.

Mowry, who has two children, wrote: “I never thought I would have infertility issues. No one around me, including my mother and family members, had ever talked about having trouble getting pregnant; it was never something that crossed my mind.”

Mowry said that she was experiencing extreme pelvic pain for years but was repeatedly brushed off and told by different doctors that it was nothing to worry about. Some suggested she put heat on the affected areas, while others recommended exercise.

Eventually, Mowry found a female African American doctor who immediately diagnosed her with endometriosis.

The doctor told her that African American often go misdiagnosed for years because less medical research is done on the condition within the community.

To manage the incurable condition, Mowry had to undergo several surgeries and make significant changes to her diet – reducing her intake of inflammatory foods. This diet has informed her cookbook, Whole New You.

The star said that her celebrity status had initially made her reluctant to speak out about it but she later realised the impact her platform could have.

“The harder thing for me, to be honest, was sharing my condition with the public. For some reason, as a ‘celebrity’, people always think your life is perfect. I wondered if I would get backlash if I spoke about it, or if people would bully me, or say I was making up this condition as an excuse. I know it sounds silly, but it's difficult to be publicly vulnerable.”

But she was determined to speak out to provide support to other women who looked like her.

“I thought I was alone because no one I knew personally had dealt with this. And then I realised: I'd never really seen someone African American in the public eye talking about endometriosis or their struggles with infertility. And when you don't know or see anyone else who looks like you talking about what you're going through, you feel alone and suffer in silence,” she wrote.

She added: "As Black women, we're particularly at risk for endometriosis, yet so many of us don't even know what this condition is. If more of us talked about it, more women might say: 'Hey, I've had those symptoms, let me go get checked'."

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