Emma Watkins is best known as the girl with the bow in hair. The singing, dancing, drumming, Yellow Wiggle delights audiences across the globe with her dazzling warmth and energy.
But what people didn’t realise was behind the scenes, Emma was in serious pain for a long time – silently suffering from a debilitating condition known as endometriosis.
In this week’s episode of the Western Sydney Health Check podcast, Emma shared that despite having symptoms dating back to high school, it was joining The Wiggles and the energy associated with touring which made her realise something wasn’t right.
“It was about maybe eight years into the touring, and being on the road constantly and filming back to back, that my periods actually started to run into each other and the bleeding was actually nonstop,” Emma told Western Sydney Health Check.
At that point… that’s when I thought something was up.”
Endometriosis, commonly referred to as “endo”, is a common disease in which the tissue that is similar to the lining of the womb grows outside it in other parts of the body.
More than 830,000 Australian women – over 11 per cent – suffer from endometriosis at some point in their life with the disease often starting in teenagers.
Symptoms of endometriosis are variable. Common symptoms include pelvic pain that puts life on hold around or during a woman’s period. It can also damage fertility cysts invading and damaging healthy ovarian tissue
“I was just looking at the screen of the ultrasound, seeing lots of circles. I didn’t actually know what they were and obviously the lady who was ultrasound-ing me she couldn’t tell me though, but later on, I found out from the report that it ended up being chocolate cysts and I had quite a few of them,” Emma shared.
Emma chose to disclose her diagnosis publicly as people were speculating the Yellow Wiggle was pregnant, when the reality was far different. Now, she gets stopped daily by women sharing their own endometriosis stories.
“I didn’t realise so many women in Australia, let alone the world, were suffering from the same thing,” Emma reflected.
“It’s really just trying to create an environment that people feel safe to have that kind of discussion.
“That discussion might not start with a professional but even if it starts with friends or family, that’s a really great place to start. I think if you are noticing any symptoms, it is really important to go get yourself checked.”
If you have concerns about endometriosis, please contact your GP in the first instance.