Olivia Culpo, 28, has recently shared her experience with endometriosis, revealing that she had undergone surgery for her medical condition.
On Thursday, Culpo took to Instagram to open up about her painful condition and said, “Yesterday I had surgery for my endometriosis.”
The former Miss USA said, “Not a very glamorous post but I felt like I needed to share this to create more awareness around this disease. Endometriosis is a condition where tissue from the uterine lining decides to grow in other random parts of your body, causing pain.”
“This can interfere with fertility and overall health and honestly – happiness,” she continued. “To top things off it is excruciatingly painful but nearly impossible to see through an ultrasound (unless you have endometrioma/chocolate cysts on your ovaries- that’s what I had). I have been in agony for years around my period and I was misdiagnosed countless times by doctors.”
Culpo also revealed that people have dismissed her pain in the past, stating, “I know a lot of people out there in the Endo community are familiar with these diagnoses which is why I am so passionate about this. Painful periods are not normal!!!”
“To anyone out there who has endometriosis, I understand the depression, and overall loneliness that can occur with a condition that is so painful yet so hard to be interpreted by other people outside of the body,” the fashion influencer wrote. “It’s hard when chronic pain is not validated and you don’t get an answer or understanding.”
“To my Endo warriors, I will continue to spread more awareness around endometriosis so that your symptoms can be validated,” she continued. “You are not alone and you are so strong !!!!”
Culpo even went on to document a part of her recovery process by posting before-and-after pictures of her abdomen from the surgery on Instagram Stories.
Post-surgery, she wrote, “Here I am, post-op. My stomach looks like not what it used to. So swollen!!!”
The former Miss Universe showed off three heart-shaped bandages that covered the incisions on her torso. She said she was “supposed to get a fourth” incision, but the procedure would have “taken over three hours.”
“I wanted to be able to avoid scarring so I’m so happy, so grateful that it went well,” Culpo said.
In another post, she wrote, “The side view is most alarming compared to before!!! Lost of inflammation but it will go down soon. I’ll keep you guys updated as it heals.”
Culpo first revealed her condition in August. At the time, she said she suffers from “the most excruciatingly painful cramps/periods” as a part of the condition.
A few weeks later, she told PEOPLE, “It was something that I was nervous to share because I really didn’t know if people would be familiar with the condition, and it turns out a lot of women are.”
“I was shocked to see how many women have also suffered from endometriosis, and how many questions women have about painful periods,” she added. “They’re not normal, and they could get in the way of your fertility.” The article originally appeared on PEOPLE.