The 28-year-old released a video statement on Facebook explaining her decision, reports the ABC.
“On advice from my specialist, a difficult decision has been made for me to be urgently admitted to hospital to have an operation to manage the pain that endometriosis has brought on,” Watkins writes.
“I would like to send my love to all the other women experiencing symptoms of endometriosis,” she adds. “It’ is such a debilitating and painful disease and I urge anyone suffering with symptoms of endometriosis to put your health first and get a diagnosis so that you are in the best position to manage this crippling disease.”
Endometriosis is a common disease that occurs when uterine tissue grows outside the uterus (most commonly the surrounding reproductive organs, bowel and bladder), resulting in unusually intense period pain, ovulation pain, heavy menstrual bleeding and fertility issues.
According to Endometriosis Australia, 10% of women suffer with endometriosis at some point in their lives, with the disease often starting in teenagers. Symptoms are variable and this may contribute to the 7 to 10 year delay in diagnosis.
With any luck, 2018 will be the year endometriosis finally gets the attention it deserves. In recent months, a string of high-profile women, from actress Lena Dunham to Olympic swimmer Emily Seebohm to Watkins, have spoken publicly about their experience with the disease, and in March 2018, the Australian government allocated $2.5-million to endometriosis research.