Watch: Amy Schumer shares health update following endometriosis surgery.
Amy Schumer has given fans an update on her health as she recovers from surgery to remove her uterus and appendix as part of the treatment for endometriosis.
The 40-year-old comedian underwent the procedure last week and has now shared details of how she's feeling.
"I'm feeling stronger and thrilled about life," Schumer wrote in the caption of her Instagram post.
Sharing a series of images of herself as she recovers at home, the Trainwreck star reveal that of the 30 specimens that were taken to the lab during her surgery, 26 tested positive for endometriosis.
Her appendix was also removed during the hysterectomy because the endometriosis had attacked it, but pathology also revealed that there was actually a tumour there, as well as what she describes as "chocolate cysts in both ovaries".
Schumer is thrilled that the surgery removed so much of the endometriosis. Not only has the pain stopped, but the surgery confirmed there were very serious medical factors causing her body to suffer.
“All my lifelong pain explained and lifted out of my body. I am already a changed person,” she added. “I am busting with joy for the new energy I have to be with my son.”
She ended her post by calling for more research into the condition, which she says over 10% of women have.
What is endometriosis?
According to the NHS, endometriosis is a chronic womb tissue condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Endometriosis is a long-term condition in which symptoms, which vary from the mild to the severe and can often be debilitating, will usually have to be managed throughout a patient’s entire lifetime.
Despite affecting an estimated 1.5 million women in the UK, many patients remain unaware of the symptoms and how to seek proper medical support.
Endometriosis is also notoriously hard to diagnose and is often dismissed as period pain. As such, it can often take years for patients to gain clarity on their condition and receive the right treatments.
Watch: Molly Mae Hague says she's having surgery after endometriosis diagnosis.
Other stars such as Daisy Ridley, Gabrielle Union, and Lena Dunham have all revealed their own experiences with the condition and called for more awareness of the symptoms and treatments.
Padma Lakshmi, who also suffers from the condition, responded to one of Schumer’s previous Instagram posts revealing she had undergone surgery, writing: “thank you so much for sharing your endo story. Over 200 million women worldwide suffer with this. Hope you feel better soon!”
"It is something we should be talking about and I’m so happy to be in a position where I might affect change, or at least raise awareness. But even saying that, it just feels so personal," the 37-year-old told Refinery29.
"I was diagnosed with a fairly advanced stage but my symptoms aren’t as horrific as they can be for some people. It is a painful disease. It can be excruciating."
Read more: Signs and symptoms of endometriosis
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
According to the World Endometriosis Research Foundation, it takes an average of eight years for a woman to be diagnosed with endometriosis.
The NHS says the main symptoms of endometriosis are:
pain in your lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period
period pain that stops you doing your normal activities
pain during or after sex
pain when peeing or pooing during your period
feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your pee during your period
difficulty getting pregnant
Heavy periods can also be a symptom of the condition.
It is recommended you see your GP if you have symptoms of endometriosis, especially if they're having a big impact on your life.
It may help to write down your symptoms before seeing a doctor.
Endometriosis UK has a pain and symptoms diary (PDF, 238kb) you can use.
What are the treatments for endometriosis?
For women who do have endometriosis the main treatments include painkillers, hormone treatment, surgery to cut away patches of endometriosis tissue and, for very serious cases, like Schumer's, some women choose to have a hysterectomy.
While more research needs to be done into the condition, the NHS says potential causes could be genetics, retrograde menstruation, immune system issues and endometrium cells spreading through the body – but none of these fully explain how or why endometriosis occurs.