Bindi Irwin has opened up about how her endometriosis affected her pregnancy, admitting that the pain was so bad, she feared she was having a miscarriage.
The Australian conservationist, 25, gave birth to her daughter Grace with her husband Chandler Powell in March 2021.
She’s now revealed that she feared she was miscarrying during the pregnancy due to the severe pain from the condition, which causes tissue to grow outside of the uterus.
Irwin has discussed her diagnosis for the first time during an interview with Good Morning America, after first opening up about her experience on Instagram in March this year.
“Along my pregnancy journey. I would often have times where I thought I was miscarrying because I would have severe unexplained pain,” she said on the morning show.
“I would think that I was losing our beautiful daughter.”
Endometriosis causes tissue similar to the lining of the uterus to grow in the wrong places, including on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder or bowels, and is often misdiagnosed by doctors.
Irwin spoke about her own struggle to get diagnosed, revealing that throughout “a long 10 years”, she was tested for cancer, as well as having CT scans, MRI scans and ultrasounds.
“I was checked for everything. The scariest thing was – there were no answers.”
Irwin has previously revealed that she started experiencing symptoms at the age of just 14, and “gave up” looking for answers after an unproductive conversation with her doctor.
She wrote in March, “I had pain every single day of my life. Suddenly, no matter where we went, where we were going, I would be falling asleep. I felt like I constantly had the flu.”
For more parenting news and advice, listen to One Day You’ll Thank Me, the Herald’s parenting podcast
“We tried and tried and tried for years and years and years, and finally, a doctor told me it was just part of being a woman.
“And that’s when I gave up. I stopped looking for answers.”
The pain “magnified” during her pregnancy with Grace, she said.
“I had a pain in my pelvis, pains in my belly, every day. But every now and then, the pain would get so much that it would literally just knock me over,” she said.
After Grace’s birth, Irwin continued to experience pain that could leave her “lying on the floor in agony” and afraid she would pass out while caring for her daughter.
“I was so scared because I was worried if I was alone with Grace, something would happen to me and she would be on her own,” she admitted.
Endometriosis in New Zealand
According to Endometriosis New Zealand, the disease affects 176 million people worldwide during their reproductive years, and 120,000 in New Zealand – that’s about one in 10 women who will experience endometriosis.
The most common symptom is pain with periods, bowel issues, painful sexual intercourse, infertility, lower back pain or tiredness.
Around the world, it takes eight or more years to get an endometriosis diagnosis from the first presentation of symptoms to a doctor. That can be because the symptoms are not taken seriously or are misdiagnosed as something else.
- If you think you may be having a miscarriage, contact your lead maternity carer – this may be a midwife or your GP. Alternatively, call Healthline free on 0800 611 116, or visit your local urgent medical centre or hospital.
- Visit the Miscarriage Support website or join the Facebook group.
- Visit the Sands website. Sands supports parents and families who have experienced the death of a baby.
- Free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor.