Bindi Irwin on Her Health: Star Says Endometriosis Symptoms Were "Dismissed"

"I found that my pain took away my sense of humor and joy. It hurt to laugh.”

Sarah Kester - Author

Jul. 7 2024, Published 3:00 a.m. ET

Bindi Irwin is opening up about her health journey.

The 25-year-old daughter of the late Steve Irwin has endometriosis, a condition when uterine-like tissue grows in places beyond the uterus. It can cause cramps, heavy periods, and fatigue. The painful condition affects up to 10 percent of people with uteruses.

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Since the symptoms are similar to other conditions, such as thyroid conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, and cysts, many people with endometriosis are often misdiagnosed. The same thing happened to Bindi, causing her to suffer in pain for years.

Here’s a look at Bindi Irwin’s health journey.

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Bindi Irwin’s symptoms were dismissed for years.

When Bindi began menstruating as a teen, she began to experience daily symptoms that weren’t normal. She told Today that she would feel severe stabbing pain, fatigue, nausea, and irritable bowel syndrome every day. These symptoms would get worse around her period.

When she had tests done, everything came back normal. This resulted in doctors brushing off her symptoms. “I was often told that it was just the stress of life, and I should work on my mental health,” Bindi said.

With no step closer to an answer, Bindi began feeling anxious and depressed.

“This was incredibly disheartening and actually caused me a lot of anxiety and depression as I was constantly in pain with no answers for what was wrong with me,” Bindi said. “It was very easy to believe doctors, and I actually gave up searching for answers.”

As she got older, the symptoms intensified and began disrupting her regular activities. She had to stop doing things she loved, such as exercising, hiking, and even hugging her loved ones.

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“For years, hugs hurt because my body was in excruciating pain every day,” she said. “I found that my pain took away my sense of humor and joy. It hurt to laugh.”

Thankfully, the condition didn’t take away her capacity to love. She got married to Chandler Powell, a professional wakeboarder. They married in 2020 at the Australia Zoo and welcomed their daughter, Grace Warrior Irwin Powell, in 2021.

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Bindi Irwin finally found answers after a friend shared her story of having endometriosis.

A social media post made by Bindi's friend immediately resonated with the young woman. After talking to a surgeon, she finally understood why she had waited so long for answers.

“I had no idea if I truly had endometriosis since nothing showed up on blood tests or scans. Unfortunately, this is the same for a lot of people, and endometriosis often goes undiagnosed,” Bindi explained. In March 2023, she had surgery to remove more than 30 lesions and a cyst that was filled with menstrual blood.

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From the moment she woke up, she immediately felt better.

“I could feel the difference from the moment I woke up,” she recalls. “I will never forget when Dr. Seckin asked me, ‘How have you been living in this much pain?’”

Since recovering from surgery, Bindi has resumed some of her regular activities, such as hiking, weightlifting, and giving more attention to wildlife conservation work.

She told Today that she hopes sharing her story will help others.

“I didn’t know how everyone would react and if I was ready to share the most vulnerable part of myself,” she says. “I am so thankful that I have been able to talk about my journey and hopefully help others seek real, genuine help.”

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