Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins is making the “difficult decision” to pull out of The Wiggles tour to undergo surgery to treat her endometriosis.
The 28-year-old – the first female Yellow Wiggle – has been living with the pain of the condition for years.
“The diagnosis was a really big shock,” Watkins told Channel Nine’s Today this morning.
“Over the last couple of years I had noticed a lot of [period] pain and I think even as a girl you are just used to dealing with what you have to deal with, and I think as it started to progress to get a little bit worse I thought I should get it checked out.”
Endometriosis is a condition that sees the lining of the uterus grow outside the womb, too. It can line the ovaries and fallopian tubes, causing crippling and irregular menstruation.
According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms include pain, headaches, infertility and pain during intercourse.
“I just thought it was a really bad period and really heavy bleeding and I didn’t really think much of it,” she told Today.
“Then I started getting headaches during the show and I thought, okay, this is probably a little bit too much now.”
Without treatment, endometriosis can cause cysts to form on the pelvic organs – making surgery to remove the tissue difficult, and potentially leading to fertility problems.
Watkins said she “almost left it too long” to seek help and, speaking to The Daily Telegraph, she encouraged any woman who’s struggling with irregular period pain to consult a doctor.
“Put your health first and get a diagnosis so that you are in the best position to manage this crippling disease,” she said.
LISTEN: “Thank you Lena Dunham, for being so honest about endometriosis”. Post continues below.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Watkins will go into hospital on Tuesday – the same day she was scheduled to perform with the Wiggles on the Gold Coast.
She will be replaced by an understudy – a friend of hers – who will also take Watkins’ place for the South Australia shows between April 21 and April 30, and the New South Wales shows between May 12 and 20.
Finally, Watkins says she and her husband, fellow Wiggle Lachy Gillespie, would love to have children one day, but “my doctor has advised I need 12 months to recover from this surgery”.
Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery, Emma. You will be missed.