Julianne Hough is speaking out once again about her endometriosis – this time about how the condition has affected her sex life with husband and former NHL player Brooks Laich.
“It can definitely cut things short,” Hough told Women’s Health. “Sometimes we’re in the middle and I’m just like ‘AH, stop!’ It can be really frustrating.”
The former “Dancing with the Stars” judge has always been forthcoming about the condition, which affects her reproductive organs, that she’s been dealing with for 15 years. The condition is caused when uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus and produces intense cramping and chronic pain.
Despite her condition, Hough, 30, said that Laich has been incredibly supportive and has infused more foreplay into their sex life for times when intercourse isn’t possible.
“He only wants to love on me and make me feel good,” she told the magazine. “There’s so much intimacy without actually having sex. There are some cool things we’ve learned and it’s literally been awesome.”
“I thought it was just what it feels like to be a girl with bad periods,” she said. “I didn’t think to go to the gynecologist. Because I’m a competitor, I felt like I had to push through the pain and just work.”
When Hough was 20 years old, she was rushed to the emergency room and hospitalized after she felt immense pain during a live taping of “Dancing with the Stars.” It was there when she was diagnosed and underwent laparoscopy, a surgical procedure that can alleviate the symptoms.
Even after undergoing her pain relief procedure, Hough recalled experiencing deep feelings that her body had failed her — even as a fit, athletic dancer and two-time “Dancing with the Stars” champion.
“It was an emotional trauma,” she said. “At the time, I felt very lonely and like nobody understood me. I had no idea that [so many women] had endometriosis.”
Hough, who had a second laparoscopy in January 2018, urges all women to speak up and see their doctor if they ever experience consistent pain.
“The more educated you become, the more powerful you’re going to feel,” she said. “You have two choices: You can hate it, or it can just become part of you. It doesn’t need to define you, it’s just an aspect of who you are.”