Julianne Hough is getting real about how her endometriosis affects her sex life with her husband, Brooks Laich.
“It can definitely cut things short,” Hough recently told Women’s Health of pain during intercourse. “Sometimes we’re in the middle and I’m just like ‘Ah, stop!'” The Dancing With the Stars alum, 30, added: “It can be really frustrating.”
But, she noted that the NHL player, 35, is more than just understanding — he also gets creative. “He only wants to love on me and make me feel good,” said Hough, adding that their foreplay life is solid. “There’s so much intimacy without actually having sex,” revealed the actress. “There are some cool things we’ve learned and it’s literally been awesome.” The couple also enjoys working out together.
Endometriosis affects about 11 percent of women of reproductive age, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Women’s Health. The condition occurs when the “endometrium, the tissue that normally lines the uterus or womb … grows outside of your uterus and on other areas in your body where it doesn’t belong,” the office states on their website. The painful condition can also lead to fertility problems.
Hough has suffered from the pelvic pain of endo — which is not the same as polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, though the symptoms often overlap — since she was 15. She underwent surgery for the condition in 2010 after severe cramping sent her to the hospital during a DWTS taping. At the time, Hough told Us Weekly, “You never really realize how bad you’re hurting until after [surgery]. Now I have something to compare it to. I feel awesome. I wasn’t going to talk about it and then I was like, You know what? They say only 5 to 10 percent of women have it, but I swear it’s like 40 percent of women. Everyone I talk to has been like, ‘I have the same thing!’”
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The MPG Sport designer also told Us she had planned to stay quiet about her condition until she realized being vocal could help other women. “I was writing on blogs and people were like, ‘Thank you so much for talking about it and being so open and honest about it,’” she said. “Young girls were like, ‘I have the same type of symptoms and I just made an appointment to go see my doctor.’ It was really cool that I can help people with that stuff.”
Now, the athletic star, who has dedicated herself to wellness, honors what her body feels. “If I feel stagnant, then my body’s stagnant, and then my insides feel stagnant,” she says. “Even if I don’t want to move or exercise, I just stand with my hands on my abdomen, move my hips, and send love to my pelvic area.”
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