Kate Ford, 42, has played Tracy Barlow on ITV’s Coronation Street since 2002, but it was only in 2017 fans of the star learnt of her secret health battle – endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries, and can prove very painful. Kate revealed her struggle with endometriosis in 2017 after US singer Halsey revealed she was undergoing surgery for the condition. The singer wrote on Instagram: “Today I braved multiple terrifying surgeries.
“The most important of which being the surgery that would hopefully treat my endometriosis.
“For those of you who have followed this battle of mine or who may suffer with it yourself, you know the extremes to which it can be mentally exhausting and physically painful.
“OK HONESTLY I’m in total agony right now…”
In response to a news article about the star’s operations, Kate decided to reveal her own battle with endometriosis, tweeting: “I suffer from this it’s not easy.”
Who can get endometriosis?
Endometriosis can affect women at any age, but tends to be most common in women in their 30s and 40s.
Symptoms of endometriosis
Symptoms can vary, and while some women can be badly affects, others may not have any noticeable symptoms, according to the NHS.
The health body lists the following symptoms to watch out for:
- Pain in your lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period
- Period pain that stops you doing your normal activities
- Pain during or after sex
- Pain when peeing or pooing during your period
- Feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your pee during your period
- Difficulty getting pregnant
The NHS adds: “You may also have heavy periods – you might use lots of pads or tampons, or you may bleed through your clothes.
“For some women, endometriosis can have a big impact on their life and may sometimes lead to feelings of depression.”
How to treat endometriosis
There’s currently no cure for endometriosis, but if you’ve been diagnosed with the condition your doctor or specialist will discuss possible treatment options for you.
Endometriosis UK explains: “The different treatments available for endometriosis aim to reduce the severity of symptoms and improve the quality of life for a woman living with the condition.
“Your healthcare professional will consider many different factors when working out the best endometriosis treatment method for you, such as your age, the severity of endometriosis you have and the severity of your symptoms.
“We do not recommend any particular treatment for endometriosis, but support patients seeking treatment options appropriate to their individual circumstances.”
Treatment options available for women with the condition include surgery, hormone treatment and pain relief.
Another Coronation Street star who’s been open about their health in the past is Simon Gregson.