However, it wasn’t until her diagnosis in 2008 that Julianne realized that the pain she was experiencing wasn’t normal.
“This feels like sharp, dagger pains and it’s almost instant,” Julianne said in an interview with Today. “It comes out of nowhere and all of a sudden I’ll be like, ‘Oh, crap,’ and then it will last for a minute and then go away. And then another sharp pain, and then it will subside.”
“And for me, that usually happens three or four times a day, for a span of five minutes,” she continued. “And then I’m fine.”
Endometriosis is a condition where tissues that are similar to those a woman’s uterus grows outside of the uterus, which causes chronic pelvic pain and sometimes infertility.
“The rough part was that it took a long time to get a proper diagnosis. We went to three or four different doctors in the span of three days,” Julianne said about a time before her diagnosis where she had to leave Dancing with the Stars to go the emergency room because of her intense pain.
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Since there’s no cure for endometriosis, Julianne ended up undergoing a procedure to remove the growth of tissue that was the cause of her pain.
“It helped, but it’s definitely something I still live with, and it comes back,” she said. “It’s sort of back with a vengeance, actually.”
Julianne also revealed that the pain experienced by those who haven’t been diagnosed can sometimes be alarming:
“When my husband first started dating me, that would happen and I couldn’t talk to tell him what was happening so he was freaking out,” she said. “He’s like, ‘You have to tell me what’s going on.’ I was like, ‘One second, one second.’ And then I ended up telling him and he said, ‘Oh my gosh, I was literally about to call the ambulance.'”
The dancer/actress has also explained that finding out more about the condition has helped her in understanding her condition.
“It sort of gives you peace of mind, like a name to the pain,” she said. “Just knowing that I’m not the only one who feels this and that I’m not overreacting. Giving myself more compassion for how I’m feeling. I’m like, ‘It’s OK, you don’t have to be the friggin’ champion of the world right now. Just sit down Julianne, you know?”