It's one of the most misunderstood. misdiagnosed, mismanaged and mistreated diseases. And because of that, women end up being infertile and in chronic pain", says Dr. Tamer Seckin.
TUNNING Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi has a bun in the oven. At age 39, the gorgeous former model is expecting her fi rst child, but the real miracle of her pregnancy is that she suffered for years with debilitating endometriosis – a disease that often causes infertility. Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that usually lines the inside of the uterus grows on the outside, resulting in painful menstrual cycles and possible infertility. About 5.5 million women suffer from this disorder, which is characterized by very bad cramps or periods with chronic pain in the pelvis during and after sex. It’s one of the three top causes of female infertility but is often misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Pelvic Infl ammatory disease. Last year, Dancing with the Stars beauty Julianne Hough was forced to have emergency surgery for endometriosis and her co-hoofer, Lacey Schwimmer, also revealed she had the disorder. Earlier this year, Lakshmi co-founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America to bring awareness to other women who may be suffering from the same health issue. “I never knew I had it and always thought Padma (far left) and dancers Julianne and Lacey have all battled the disorder GL 45 032 A0 GL45032A0 that everything was OK,” she says. “I found out in a very hard, very dif- fi cult way – and I had to be operated on. Now, I’m fi ne but it was a very trying ordeal.” The beauty, who divorced her husband author Salman Rushdie in 2007 after seven years of marriage, is keeping mum over who’s the baby daddy. “I don’t want to talk about it,” she says. Lakshmi’s gynecologist, Dr. Tamer Seckin is one of the nation’s leading experts in laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis and co-founder of her organization. “It’s probably one of the most prevalent diseases affecting reproductive health,” he says. “It’s also the most misunderstood, misdiagnosed, mismanaged and mistreated. And women, because of that, end up being infertile and in chronic pain.” In the past, gals have been given birth control pills to thin the uterine wall and reduce the pain. Hysterectomies, total removal of the uterus, were considered to be the only effective treatment for endometriosis. Seckin carefully removed diseased tissue around Lakshmi’s uterus with a laparoscope through a tiny incision. This minimally invasive procedure restores the health of the reproductive organ and offers hope to the millions of sufferers who want to have children. Says Padma, “I’m extremely happy, and I feel really blessed.”