Julianne Hough always looks positively radiant whether she’s tearing up the dance floor on tour, acting in a movie or enjoying some time off with her hubby, Brooks Laich. We see her life through what she shares via Instagram, but Julianne’s journey isn’t as carefree and painless as you might imagine.
The 29-year-old newlywed opens up about her ongoing struggle with endometriosis in the new issue of “Health” magazine. She first got treatment for the illness about a decade ago after a severe pain episode when she was competing on “Dancing With the Stars.”
She says, “All of a sudden while I was dancing, something happened and I just doubled over. They cut to commercial, and my mom was in the audience that day, so she’s like,’You’re going to the hospital. I don’t care what you say.’ It took so long to figure out what was going on. Finally one doctor said, ‘I think you might have endometriosis, and it looks pretty bad.’ I needed surgery—I had it everywhere, to the point that they took my appendix out because it was so bad.”
If you’re not familiar with endometriosis, Julianne describes it saying, “Basically, the uterine lining is growing outside [the uterus]. It can look like a spiderweb, and what happens is it contracts and cramps. For me, it’s an immediate sharp pain, like a stabbing sensation. It hurts so bad. It’s ongoing.”
Julianne still has what she calls “endometriosis episodes,” and she just gets quiet when she’s dealing with the pain. Her hubby, Brooks, has encouraged her to let him know when she’s going through it so he understands what’s going on. In turn, Julianne is encouraging other women dealing with endometriosis to not suffer in silence.
“It’s OK to talk about these kinds of things,” Julianne says. ” In the past, it was kind of a hush-hush thing, but it’s a way of life. My husband is the most sporty, Canadian, manly of men, and so he doesn’t know anything to do with women in that sense, so for me to tell him, he was like, ‘Wait, what?’ But now he’s so open about it.”
To hear Julianne tell it, we don’t think NHL star Brooks had much of a choice but to get comfortable with talking about women’s health issues.
Julianne adds with a laugh, “To be in my family, you have to know that the word ‘vagina’ is gonna be out there all the time. That’s how we end all of our conversations—something about vaginas.”