On Thursday, the Star Wars actress posted a selfie with a candid caption revealing that she's been struggling with endometriosis for almost 10 years; she was diagnosed and underwent a laparoscopy procedure in her teens.
Ridley goes on to say that after trying multiple things to cure her skin, she found out the source of her skin issues was polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that causes your body to produce more androgens (“male” hormones) than is expected. Aside from irregular periods, PCOS can cause skin symptoms such as adult acne.
At 15 I was diagnosed with endometriosis. One laparoscopy, many consultations and 8 years down the line, pain was back (more mild this time!) and my skin was THE WORST. I've tried everything: products, antibiotics, more products, more antibiotics) and all that did was left my body in a bit of a mess. Finally found out I have polycycstic ovaries and that's why it's bad. I can safely say feeling so self conscious has left my confidence in tatters. I hate wearing make up but I currently don't want to leave the house without it on. HOWEVER PROGRESS IS BEING MADE! (With some help from a dermatologist and cutting out dairy (waah, except for spontaneous ice creams) and cutting down sugar (bigger waah but gotta do what you've gotta do)). Finally. Finally. (Throughout all this I've only had people being wonderful and encouraging and occasionally making me realise I'm being ridiculous and there's more to life)... My point is, to any of you who are suffering with anything, go to a doctor; pay for a specialist; get your hormones tested, get allergy testing; keep on top of how your body is feeling and don't worry about sounding like a hypochondriac. From your head to the tips of your toes we only have one body, let us all make sure ours our working in tip top condition, and take help if it's needed. #wasthispostlongenough #maybethesehashtagscanbulkitupabit #alsohowmanybracketsdoesonewomanneed #ifyourereadingthisiapplaudyou #thisisaclaymaskincaseyourewondering
Ridley joins both Lena Dunham and Padma Lakshmi in bringing light to the issue, which affects up to 10% of women in the U.S. However, because the symptoms can be confused with menstrual cramps or gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, many women suffer in pain for up to 10 years before getting a diagnosis.
Likewise, PCOS is complex. According to the PCOS Foundation, about 5-10% of women of childbearing age suffer from the endocrine disorder, but about half of those women are still undiagnosed.