Health + Wellness

“WWE Star Diagnosed with Endometriosis After 3-Year Dismissal

Brandi Rhodes

Brandi Rhodes, a former professional wrestler, recently opened up about her harrowing three-year journey to being diagnosed with endometriosis. Despite experiencing significant pain and various symptoms, Rhodes’ concerns were repeatedly dismissed by medical professionals. Her story, as shared in an interview with TODAY, underscores the importance of self-advocacy and awareness of women’s health issues.

Rhodes, 40, first noticed something was wrong after becoming pregnant with her daughter, Liberty. She described experiencing intense internal pain, likening it to severe irritation in her ovary or uterus. Despite her concerns, her doctor assured her that these symptoms were normal and would subside after childbirth. However, even after giving birth in June 2021, Rhodes’ pain persisted.

“It felt like something inside, whether it was an ovary or my uterus, just felt really irritated and aggravated,” she told TODAY.

Over the next three years, Rhodes sought help from multiple specialists, trying pelvic floor therapy and seeing a nutritionist and gastroenterologist, who misdiagnosed her with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Her symptoms, including irregular menstrual cycles, heavy periods, and severe bloating, continued unabated. The constant fluctuation in her physical appearance was particularly distressing

“One day I’d wake up in the morning and I felt normal and fine and (could see) my abs,” she recalled, “and then another day I would wake up and I would look three months pregnant.”

“Then I found myself back at the doctor again,” she added. “And that doctor really waved it off. She didn’t really show concern. She really didn’t have a lot of questions.”

Repeated dismissals from doctors led Rhodes to doubt herself. She started to feel defeated, questioning her own experiences and considering whether her pain was imagined. As a fitness instructor, this ongoing struggle impacted her ability to help others with their fitness, as she was battling significant discomfort herself.

Rhodes found renewed determination after fellow pro wrestler Maryse Mizanin shared her own health journey on social media. Mizanin’s story of being diagnosed with a rare pre-cancer of the ovaries after being dismissed by numerous doctors resonated deeply with Rhodes. Inspired by Mizanin’s courage, Rhodes decided to push for more answers.

“Seeing that really lit a fire under me,” Rhodes told TODAY.

Finally, Rhodes found a doctor who performed a basic pelvic exam and quickly identified the likelihood of

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