In a social media promo for this week’s episode of The Culpo Sisters, Olivia Culpo opened up about her struggles with endometriosis, sharing that the disease “wreaked havoc” on her life and took years to finally get a proper diagnosis.
“I remember not being able to function. It was the type of pain that kept me in bed all day,” the model said in a candid Instagram post opening up about her journey with the condition, which causes tissue that normally lines the uterus to grow outside of it.
Culpo says dozens of doctors told her the pain and discomfort she was experiencing during her periods was normal, and she was instructed to just take medicine, though her symptoms did not improve.
“I was almost made to feel like I was making up my symptoms and overreacting,” Culpo said in the video. “This was something that was very painful, physically and also emotionally because my pain was never validated. I knew something was wrong with my body.”
Culpo describes feeling invalidated by doctors, saying that being made to feel like her chronic pain was an overreaction was both disheartening and confusing. By taking charge of her own health and advocating for her well-being, she says she ultimately found answers through Reddit forums, YouTube videos and Instagram posts from other women struggling with the condition.
“After dozens of wrong turns, I finally landed on the truth, which was that I had severe endometriosis and needed surgery if there was any hope to salvage my reproductive organs,” Culpo said in the caption of her post. “If it wasn’t for those who shared their stories on random blog posts, I never would have found the courage to keep advocating for myself. It’s a gift to be able to pay it forward by sharing my story.”
Culpo—who had endometriosis surgery in November 2020—was praised by her followers for sharing her story and using her platform to give endometriosis warriors a voice.
“Thank you for sharing your journey Olivia! It has made all of us battling endo feel understood and validated,” singer/songwriter Suzie Del Vecchio commented. “I’m so proud of you! Endo warrior 💪🏻❤️ together stronger !”
Entertainment reporter Catt Sadler said, “So so important to share [your] story we are so glad you’re doing better!! ❤️❤️❤️,” while others commented and shared their own journeys with endometriosis in solidarity.
“I hope that if nothing else this is a reminder to trust yourself above all and fight for yourself even if it feels like you’re a one woman army!” Culpo said in her caption.
New episodes of The Culpo Sisters air Monday nights on TLC at 9 p.m. ET.