For 32-year-old actress Jessica Williams, the « debilitating » pain, especially during her period, actually signaled a serious health condition: endometriosis. Before recording the HBO specials for his podcast, 2 Dope Queens, Williams said she was admitted to the emergency room for the condition. « It turns out there wasn’t much to do, because it’s about women’s reproductive health, and they don’t know much about endometriosis, » said the fantastic beasts the star said in a recent interview with Essence.
According to Office of Women’s Health, endometriosis is a painful condition in which tissue similar to the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrium) grows in areas outside the uterus, such as the fallopian tubes or ovaries. This tissue can then swell or bleed outside the uterus during the menstrual cycle, which can lead to severe pain because it cannot easily leave the body.
In 2018, Williams spoke at length about her endometriosis in an Instagram Publish. She shared that « killer 👏🏾cramps 👏🏾 is not 👏🏾normal👏🏾 » and noted that she had to go to the ER and various medical professionals before finally arriving at a diagnosis. “People find it hard to believe that women suffer and they ESPECIALLY find it difficult to believe that women of color suffer, so it may take multiple doctors to even get a diagnosis of endometriosis,” Williams wrote.
Eventually, receiving this diagnosis motivated her to « advocate for women of color to monitor their reproductive health, » according to Essence, a public health issue that Williams has come to be extremely noticed about. A systematic review published in the American Journal of Public Health analyzed 15 studies on implicit racial and ethnic biases among healthcare professionals and how these biases can affect healthcare outcomes. The overwhelming majority of studies concluded that « most health care providers » included in the research appeared to have an implicit bias, in that they tend to have more « positive attitudes » toward white people in a health care facility and more « negative attitudes » toward white people. people of color. These biases, among other factors and systemic issues, can lead to a range of negative health outcomes for black people, from dismissal of their health conditions in life-threatening situations to disproportionately higher maternal mortality rates.
It’s one possible reason Williams « felt relieved » when a doctor finally admitted « you must be in a lot of pain » after discovering she had advanced endometriotic lesions. “I also felt really sad for all the pain that I had ignored and put aside for so long,” she previously wrote on Instagram.
There are different treatments for endometriosis, which can include different types of medications or surgery to remove endometriotic lesions. At the end of 2021, Williams said Interview magazine that she was recovering from endometriosis surgery, but did not give exact details of the operation. Now she looks back on her early symptoms and stresses the importance of listening to your body and standing up for yourself if you can. « You shouldn’t have severe period pain, » she said. Essence. « It is not normal. »