Actress Tia Mowry, who stars on the Style Network reality show Tia & Tamera, writes about the relief she felt having her 17-month-old son Cree (with actor husband Cory Hardrict) after years of struggling with the gynecological medical condition endometriosis.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a female health disorder that occurs when cells from the lining of the womb (uterus) grow in other areas of the body. This can lead to pain, irregular bleeding, and problems getting pregnant (infertility).
Every month, a woman’s ovaries produce hormones that tell the cells lining the uterus (womb) to swell and get thicker. The body removes these extra cells from the womb lining (endometrium) when you get your period.
If these cells (called endometrial cells) implant and grow outside the uterus, endometriosis results. The growths are called endometrial tissue implants. Women with endometriosis typically have tissue implants on the ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder, and on the lining of the pelvic area. They can occur in other areas of the body, too.
Unlike the endometrial cells found in the uterus, the tissue implants outside the uterus stay in place when you get your period. They sometimes bleed a little bit. They grow again when you get your next period. This ongoing process leads to pain and other symptoms of endometriosis.
The cause of endometriosis is unknown. One theory is that the endometrial cells shed when you get your period travel backwards through the fallopian tubes into the pelvis, where they implant and grow. This is called retrograde menstruation. This backward menstrual flow occurs in many women, but researchers think the immune system may be different in women with endometriosis.
Endometriosis is common. Sometimes, it may run in the family. Although endometriosis is typically diagnosed between ages 25 – 35, the condition probably begins about the time that regular menstruation begins.
Tia Mowry’s diagnosis with endometriosis?
It all started around when I was about 21 years old. I would have menstrual cramps that would send me to my knees and to the bathroom. Literally! I was studying at Pepperdine University and my cramps were so bad I would have to excuse myself and head to the ladies’ room.
There, sitting on the toilet would give me a little relief. Yes, sitting on the toilet. Go figure. An hour had gone by and I didn’t even know it. Class was over and the next thing I know I’m in the back of my car, crunched over in pain, while my sister Tamera is driving. This was not fun! I went to the doctor and she ran all kinds of tests, found nothing, and said to take a nice warm bath and I should be fine.
This was my life for the next few years. However, one night I was over it. I was having cramps so bad I desperately wanted to call an ambulance. My husband and I had a neighbor over and she mentioned to me she had an amazing gynecologist, the one who delivered Will and Jada Pinkett Smith‘s kids, and that I should see her.
I was 27 years old when I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I was like, “Wait, what”? I knew nothing about it. Why hadn’t I? The simple explanation of this: endometriosis is an abnormal growth of cells from the lining of your uterus that appear outside of the uterine cavity. The uterine cavity is lined with endometrial cells, which are under the influence of female hormones.
So, the growth of these cells outside of where they are supposed to be was causing the pain — and it was a condition that could potentially prevent me from having children. I was devastated. You see, now married, having kids was on my radar and I was informed that surgery could help! So, surgery seemed to be my only option.
The operation was successful, however, two years later the pain returned. Devastated, the doctor suggested another procedure along with seeing a dietitian.
After the second surgery and determined to not have a third, my friend and costar Brittany Daniel from The Game told me about a diet called The Body Ecology Diet. This was a diet that helped reduce inflammation in the body, which is one of the major symptoms of endometriosis, by limiting sugars and carbs.
Focused and determined, I stayed on this diet for one year and guess what, I got pregnant!
I called my OB/GYN and the first thing she said was, “It was your diet!” So, staying away from cookies and pasta was well worth it! My little boy Cree Taylor Hardrict is here — the love of my life and my little miracle.
You may ask why am I blogging about this? First and foremost, I wanted to educate woman out there about what endometriosis is. I was suffering with it for years and I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I went through without getting help.
And secondly, I wanted to share how I overcame endometriosis with the help of surgery and my diet! It is my belief that if I can do it, you can too!
Have any of you ever heard about endometriosis or know of anyone who may have this condition? Is this your first time ever hearing about it? Would love to hear your thoughts! – Tia
Actress Tia Mowry stars on the reality show Tia & Tamera, airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Style. Follow her on Twitter at @TiaMowry.
- Endometriosis Affects Millions of Women (drlauraberman.com)
- Endometriosis and Endometrial Cancer (everydayhealth.com)
- Tia and Tamera Mowry Launch New Website – and Talk Motherhood! (celebritybabies.people.com)
- Why Sex Hurts With Endometriosis (everydayhealth.com)
- Women’s Excellence in Endometriosis Near Rochester, MI is Now Offering Medical Management of Endometriosis with Zoladex; Significant Reduction in Pelvic Pain Reported (prweb.com)
- Endometriosis, the Proverbial Pain in My Side (mountainairess.wordpress.com)