Bindi Irwin Reveals Major Medical Battle

Bindi Irwin is opening up about her 10-year medical battle. In a Tuesday Instagram post, the Crikey! It's The Irwins star revealed that she was diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition that causes uterine tissue to grow outside of the uterus, Irwin sharing in the candid post that for years she's "struggled with insurmountable fatigue, pain and nausea."

In the Tuesday post, which coincided with both International Women's Day and Endometriosis Awareness Month, Irwin told her followers that she "battled for a long time wondering if I should share this journey with you in such a public space," admitting that she ultimately decided to open up about her medical journey due to "the responsibility I feel to share my story for other women who need help." Sharing a photo of herself from her hospital bed after recently undergoing a procedure, the Australian conservationist went on to reveal that for the past decade, she's "struggled with insurmountable fatigue, pain & nausea," Irwin admitting that "trying to remain a positive person & hide the pain has been a very long road."

"These last 10yrs have included many tests, doctors visits, scans, etc," Irwin wrote. "A doctor told me it was simply something you deal with as a woman & I gave up entirely, trying to function through the pain. I didn't find answers until a friend @lesliemosier helped set me on a path of regaining my life. I decided to undergo surgery for endometriosis."

Irwin, who admitted that "going in for surgery was scary but I knew I couldn't live like I was," said doctors found and removed 37 endometriosis lesions and a chocolate cyst, also called an ovarian endometrioma. When she woke from surgery, she said her doctor's "first words to me when I was in recovery were, 'How did you live with this much pain?' Validation for years of pain is indescribable." The mom of one, who went on to thank her family and friends who had been on the journey with her, assured fans that she is now "on the road to recovery & the gratitude I feel is overwhelming. To those questioning the cancelled plans, unanswered messages & absence – I had been pouring every ounce of the energy I had left into our daughter & family."

Irwin ended the post by encouraging others to "please be gentle & pause before asking me (or any woman) when we'll be having more children. After all that my body has gone through, I feel tremendously grateful that we have our gorgeous daughter. She feels like our family's miracle," Irwin said of her 23-month-old daughter Grace Warrior. Irwin added that she is "aware of millions of women struggling with a similar story," acknowledging that "there's stigma around this awful disease. I'm sharing my story for anyone who reads this & is quietly dealing with pain & no answers. Let this be your validation that your pain is real & you deserve help."

Irwin's husband, Chandler Powell, shared a message of support for his wife following her post, writing on Instagram, "You are my inspiration to be as strong as I can be in every aspect of life. Seeing how you pushed through the pain to take care of our family and continue our conservation work while being absolutely riddled with endometriosis is something that will inspire me forever." Her brother, Robert Irwin, also shared his support, writing that his sister's "story of resilience is a beacon for women around the world who are suffering – and it's a wake up call for men too. It's *everyone's* responsibility to be allies for womens health and help spread awareness."