Whoopi Goldberg gets candid about her struggle with endometriosis

Whoopi Goldberg has opened up about living with endometriosis.

In an episode of The View on 8 November, Goldberg and her talk show co-hosts spoke with Hillary Clinton about the documentary Below the Belt, which she executive produced. The documentary, released in June 2023, helps raise awareness for endometriosis.

According to the Mayo Clinic, endometriosis is a condition that occurs when the tissue meant to be on the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis can result in severe pelvic or menstrual pain, as well as very heavy periods and possible infertility.

During Wednesday’s episode, the Sister Act star expressed her frustration over how women can have endometriosis symptoms for many years before actually being diagnosed with the condition. “It drives me berserk that we are still constantly having to beg for health care,” she said.

“We pay taxes. Women pay taxes. I don’t understand why when doctors go to school forever, they’re not taught about a woman’s body. And then you have all of these people making these comments and, you know, [they] have no idea how this works,” Goldberg added.

The Academy Award winner went on to detail her own experience getting her diagnosis, as she considered herself “lucky” to have caught her endometriosis early. “I was lucky enough because I had a urinary tract infection that I did not take care of. Note to people: don’t let that stuff go. Because stuff happens in your body and I ended up with what looked like - and I don’t mean to gross you out - but suddenly there was a smell and it looked like cottage cheese and I didn’t know what was going on,” she said.

“And I was lucky enough to get to somebody who said: ‘This is called endometriosis,’” Goldberg added. “They were able to treat me with antibiotics, but that’s because somebody knew what they were looking at.”

It wasn’t until Clinton’s Below the Belt documentary came out that Goldberg realised how lucky she was. “When I saw this documentary and I heard that it takes them six to 10 years to even get the diagnosis, I don’t understand that! What are they doing in medical school!?” she said.

Goldberg is just one of the many celebrities who have spoken about their experiences with endometriosis; Australian conservationist Bindi Irwin and comedian Amy Schumer have also openly talked about living with the condition.

According to Medical News Today, endometriosis is so difficult to diagnose is “there currently are no noninvasive diagnostic modalities such as ultrasound or blood work testing that will reliably diagnose endometriosis,” Dr Ann Peters told the outlet.

Many women struggle to differentiate between normal menstrual pain and non-normal menstrual pain, as some people go through painful periods but assume it’s not a symptom of an underlying health condition. Symptoms of endometriosis can also overlap with other conditions, Medical News Today reported.