Strictly: Giovanni Pernice jokes about Anton du Beke
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Most recently the star showed his support for a young woman who shares her experience with both Crohn’s disease and endometriosis via social media and TikTok. Reporting Katie Heywood’s video on his own social media sites he commented that she was “doing a great job” before going on to say her content resonated with both him and Summers. He added: “Having gone through similar with Hannah, Katie is doing a great job of raising awareness of chronic illness.”
After announcing their joy at expecting children back in 2016, when Du Beke was 50 years old, the couple also gave insight into their battle to conceive, which is what led them to trying IVF.
“I never got pregnant,” businesswoman Summers shared when talking about how her endometriosis affected her chances of having children.
“The problem with me is, it’s quite hard to hide. It was one of those things where on a monthly basis, I looked like I was six months pregnant.
“One of the side effects is obviously the pain, but I had tremendous swelling.
“I was one of those women who was most asked that dreaded question, ‘When’s it due?’”
Having suffered from the condition since she was a teenager, the pair decided to use their platform to raise awareness of endometriosis, which affects approximately 10 percent of women worldwide.
Appearing on an episode of Lorraine together, Du Beke explained: “It’s one of those perverse things endometriosis, where if you’re a woman who wants to have children and you have endometriosis and you find you can’t have children, then the bloating looks like you’re pregnant.
“People are like, ‘Oh marvellous, you must be so delighted’, it’s sort of compounded somehow.”
Before going on to say: “I always get emotional when I talk about Hannah. Hannah is a remarkable mum and wife. She’s the most brilliant person I’ve ever met.
“Endometriosis is a massive thing for ladies. From a man, you look on and it’s one of those things where you go, ‘I don’t understand.’
“For a woman, it affects the quality of your life to a degree because it sort of comes in three parts.
“First there’s the excruciating pain, second there’s the swelling. And in many cases, it stops you from becoming pregnant. As a man, there’s nothing you can do. All I can do is support, empathise and do whatever I can do.”
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Sharing their experience of the common condition from the perspectives of both the sufferer and the supporter, the pair have been praised for their openness and continue to support others who are going through a similar experience.
Endometriosis UK, a charity, explains that the condition occurs when cells, similar to the ones in the lining of the womb, are found elsewhere in the body. Each month these cells react in the same way to those in the womb, building up and then breaking down and bleeding. However, unlike the cells in the womb that are able to leave the body when an individual has a period, this blood has no way to escape.
This causes inflammation, pain and the formation of scar tissue. Other potential symptoms of endometriosis includes:
- Chronic pain
- Fatigue/lack of energy
- Problems with a couple’s sex life/relationships
- An inability to conceive
- Difficulty in fulfilling work and social commitments.
Due to the condition sharing symptoms with other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), individuals are often misdiagnosed. Despite this it is still important for individuals experiencing any of the above symptoms to seek medical advice where they can receive further tests.
With the right treatment endometriosis can be managed, and like Du Beke and Summers, individuals can go on to have children.
Some of the main treatments offered currently by the NHS include:
- Painkillers – such as ibuprofen and paracetamol
- Hormone medicines and contraceptives – including the combined pill, the contraceptive patch, an intrauterine system (IUS)
- Surgery to cut away patches of endometriosis tissue
- An operation to remove part or all of the organs affected by endometriosis – such as surgery to remove the womb (hysterectomy).
In order to address infertility, surgery to remove endometriosis tissue can help to improve your chances of getting pregnant, although there is no guarantee. This is because surgery for endometriosis comes with a risk that it can cause further problems, such as infections, bleeding or damage to affected organs.
Remarkably, for Summers, when she fell pregnant she explained that her bleeding and pain went away, giving her false hope that the condition had gone forever. She shared: “This is one of the most unbelievable things. It all stopped and I was hopeful that that might’ve been the end of it, but literally the minute I stopped breastfeeding, it was almost instantaneous it came back.”
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