Tennis star Danielle Collins recounts harrowing battle with endometriosis: ‘Painful periods are not normal’

When American tennis star Danielle Collins made the Australian Open women’s singles final, it was a remarkable comeback after the pain of endometriosis barely kept her from competing at this time of year. last.

The 28-year-old from Florida underwent emergency surgery for the disease in April 2021 after years of agonizing suffering.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Endometriosis: why does diagnosis take so long?

“I’ve had so many doctors tell me painful periods are normal. It got progressively worse,” Danielle said in an interview with the Women’s Tennis Association.

“The agony I felt due to my menstrual cycles and endometriosis is one of the worst pains I have ever felt. It was scary at times.”

Danielle Collins at the Australian Open. Credit: Graham Denholm/Getty Images

The common condition, which affects more than 11% of Australian women, sees the lining of the womb growing in other parts of the body, according to Endometriosis Australia,

Symptoms include life-threatening pelvic pain around or during a woman’s period. This can impact fertility.

While endometriosis most commonly affects the reproductive organs, it is commonly found in the bowel and bladder and has been found in muscles, joints, lungs, and brain.

Danielle Collins opened up about her battle with endometriosis.
Danielle Collins opened up about her battle with endometriosis. Credit: Instagram/Danielle Collins

There is no cure, but painkillers, hormone treatments, and surgery can provide relief.

For many women, the symptoms are so variable that it sometimes takes more than six years to get a diagnosis. For many women, those years passed in great pain.

Danielle Collins receives medical attention during a game.
Danielle Collins receives medical attention during a game. Credit: Sarah Rose/Getty Images

Tennis star Danielle recalled falling on the court at the 2021 Australian Open and getting a doctor to help her due to the ‘contraction type cramps’ she was having. a felt in the lower pelvis and abdominal muscles.

As she traveled from tournament to tournament, Danielle said she tried to ignore the pain and take anti-inflammatories to relieve it, but it got to the point where they no longer worked.

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“I just couldn’t go on living my life like this” – Danielle Collins

Her symptoms became more physically debilitating, including stabbing pains throughout her spine, resulting in such agony that it was impossible to play matches, she noted.

In the spring of 2021, the terrible back pain led Danielle to call her orthopedic surgeon, who said her spine was fine and couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

But when she mentioned her period pains, he referred her to a gynecologist. Danielle underwent emergency surgery four days later.

“I got to the point where I couldn’t live without it. If I hadn’t had surgery, I just couldn’t go on living my life like this,” she told the WTA.

Danielle, pictured at a game, said she wished she had taken action on her period pain sooner
Danielle, pictured at a game, said she wished she had taken action on her period pain sooner Credit: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The operation involved incisions through his abdominal wall in four different places. Surgeons removed a “tennis ball-sized cyst” from her ovary, which had displaced her uterus and left it pressing on a spinal nerve, Danielle told the Telegraph. That’s what was causing the back pain.

Doctors also removed tissue from his bowel and bladder.

It’s been a long rehabilitation process, but Danielle gradually started competing again last year, winning two WTA titles. She had a spectacular run at the Australian Open this month.

Danielle urged other women struggling with painful menstrual cycles to keep looking for answers.

“My biggest piece of advice is that painful periods are not normal and if you’re told your pain is caused by something else, it never hurts to get a second opinion,” she told the Telegraph. .

“It’s something I wish I had done earlier. When I found out what it was, I was shocked – but also hopeful, because I was at rock bottom with physical agony, and I didn’t know how I was going to keep playing. tennis.

With reporting by A. Pawlowski, NBC


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