Robert Irwin emotional as he discusses sister Bindi having ‘chocolate cyst’ removed
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Featured Image Credit: Seven / Instagram / @bindisueirwin
Robert Irwin has spoken about his sister Bindi's struggle with endometriosis in an emotional interview.
The chronic condition affects roughly 10 percent of 'reproductive age' women and girls, roughly 190 million people according to the World Health Organisation. An exact figure is difficult to ascertain due to under-diagnosis.
Endometriosis happens when tissue that is similar to lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. Symptoms can include chronic pelvic pain, as well as difficulties with fertility.
At present there is no cure, but there are steps which can be taken to manage symptoms and provide pain relief.
Now, Robert Irwin has spoken about his sister Bindi's struggle with the condition and her recent surgery to have a 'chocolate cyst' removed.
In an appearance on Sunrise, he opened up about Bindi's decade-long struggle with the chronic condition, including being told by doctors that it was just pain that women 'deal with'.
The stars of Crikey! It's the Irwins have opened up about Bindi's struggle with the condition.
Speaking to hosts David Koch and Natalie Barr, he said: "Bindi was going downhill fast and living in hellish conditions. And she was turned down and told it was all in her head. She's now a new woman.
"I'm very vocal about women getting help and men putting it on their radar."
During a Q&A she hosted on Instagram, Bindi said: "It has been a very long journey and a lot of challenges to get to this point.
"I'm very thankful to be on the other side of the excision surgery. I can officially say I'm finally feeling better."
She added: "For ten years I've struggled with insurmountable fatigue, pain and nausea. Trying to remain a positive person and hide the pain has been a very long road.
"These last ten years have included many tests, doctors visits, scans, etc. A doctor told me it was simply something you deal with as a woman and I gave up entirely, trying to function through the pain."
Eventually, Bindi decided to undergo surgery for the condition. This included removing a 'chocolate cyst', a term for a cyst which has become filled with menstrual blood.
Research into endometriosis has historically not only been slow, but also plagued by medical misogyny and racism.
In her 2021 book Unwell Women, feminist historian Elinor Cleghorn wrote about endometriosis.
She said: "Nowhere near enough research and time has been spent on figuring out the cause of this debilitating disease, and this has led to a woeful lack of care and respect for sufferers.
"And one of the most prevalent mythologies about who gets endo still maligns sufferers ... It was not even recognised as affecting Black women until the 1970s."