‘10 Years of Unbearable Pain’: Ricki-Lee Coulter Undergoes Surgery For Endometriosis

Beloved Australian singer Ricki-Lee Coulter has been diagnosed with endometriosis after more than a decades-long struggle with chronic pain.

She revealed on Instagram this week that she underwent a laparoscopy and excision surgery to remove her endometriosis – posting photos of her in the hospital to her 330,000 followers to raise awareness of the debilitating condition.

Ricki-Lee Coulter reveals endometriosis diagnosis

Ricki-Lee Coulter said her condition became almost unbearable in the past few years and said it took a long time to get surgery and a diagnosis. She encourages anyone with the symptoms of endometriosis to advocate for themselves and push for answers.

She says in her Instagram post caption:

“For over a decade, I’ve been dealing with chronic pain that has progressively gotten worse. Anyone with endometriosis knows it takes a long time to get to the point where you have surgery and can get any kind of diagnosis – and that you have to advocate for yourself and keep pushing for answers.”

“Over the years I have seen so many doctors and specialists, and have been down so many different paths to try and figure out what was going on – and for so long I thought the pain was just something I had to deal with. But the past couple of years, it has become almost unbearable, and is something I’ve been dealing with every single day. I met with a new GP at the start of the year, who referred me to a new specialist, and we went through all the measures that have been taken to try and get to the bottom of this pain – and the only option left was surgery.”

“So this week I had a laparoscopy & excision surgery – and they removed all the endometriosis they found, and I can only hope that is the end of the pain. I’m now at home recovering and feeling good. Rich is taking very good care of me xxx”

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is when endometrial tissue in the lining of the uterus grows in places outside the uterus, causing pain and possible infertility.

Because it is located outside the uterus, it doesn’t shed when you have your period, unlike the tissue on the lining of your uterus. This can lead to scarring and inflammation and cause organs to ‘stick’ to each other.

Endometriosis can get worse over time, causing severe issues and pain. It can last until menopause, as you stop having periods.

Endometriosis symptoms

Although they can be different for each person, some endometriosis symptoms are common. These include:

  • Abdominal or pelvic pain before and during menstruation (periods), sex and going to the bathroom
  • Pain in legs that get progressively worse
  • Bleeding from the bowel or bladder or changes in the frequency of urine or bowel movements
  • Heavy periods, irregular bleeding including clots, bleeding for longer than normal
  • Feeling regularly bloated
  • Fatigue during menstruation
  • Difficultly getting pregnant or diagnosed with ‘unexplained’ infertility

How is it diagnosed?

You can have scans and doctor examinations to diagnose endometriosis. However, the best way to be diagnosed is through exploratory surgery. This includes a laparoscopy, where a camera is placed through your belly button to look for endometrial tissue, and a biopsy, where a piece of the tissue is taken for testing.

According to Endometriosis Australia, it takes an average of six-and-a-half years for a patient to be diagnosed. At this stage, there is no cure for the condition.

ricki-lee coulter endometriosis diagnosis after surgery
Ricki-Lee Coulter after endometriosis surgery. Source: Instagram @therickilee

Other celebrities diagnosed with endometriosis

Ricki-Lee Coulter is not the only beloved celebrity who has been diagnosed with this debilitating condition. Many other famous women have come out to say they’ve struggled with the condition, with some suffering infertility and other serious health issues.

Comedian Amy Schumer underwent a hysterectomy in 2021 to reduce the pain of her endometriosis, saying:

I’m feeling really hopeful and I’m really glad I did it. And I think it’s going to change my life.”

In 2018, Emma Watkins, formerly Emma Wiggle and now Emma Memma, famously quit The Wiggles Australian tour so she could have surgery for her endometriosis. She also doubts whether she will be able to get pregnant with her husband, musician Oliver Brian.

“After stage four endo, I am pretty realistic in the fact I don’t know what my chances are. If it happens, that would be amazing, if it doesn’t, that is okay too.”

Australian wildlife warrior Bindi Irwin also shocked fans when she announced she would have surgery for endometriosis, and described her daughter Grace as her miracle baby.

“After all that my body has gone through, I feel tremendously grateful that we have our gorgeous daughter. She feels like our family’s miracle.”

With one in seven women being diagnosed with this condition, it is crucial for us to continue talking about it and sharing our stories.

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Avatar of Kylie Baracz

As a busy writer and mama of two little wildlings, Kylie knows what it's like to juggle All The Things. When she's not politely ushering out small children from her Zoom calls, her favourite place is snuggled on the couch with her family and a (probably lukewarm!) cuppa.

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