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Model Olivia Culpo gets candid about her battle with endometriosis

Olivia Culpo, a former Miss Universe, recently underwent surgery to have endometriosis removed and shared details of her journey with thousands of fans.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Olivia Culpo, a former Miss Universe, model, fashion designer and philanthropist, as well as the girlfriend of Panthers' star Christian McCaffrey, openly shared her struggles with endometriosis on social media this week.

Culpo told fans she underwent surgery Thursday at Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina for her endometriosis. 

"I felt like I needed to share this to create more awareness around this disease... I have been in agony for years around my period and I was misdiagnosed countless times by doctors. 'Just take Tylenol every day,' 'ultrasound looks normal,' 'I think you just need to rest more, periods are always uncomfortable for people,' etc. I know a lot of people out there in the Endo community are familiar with these diagnoses which is why I am so passionate about this. Painful periods are not normal!" Culpo wrote.

On her Instagram stories, she walks people through what her recovery has been like showing how swollen she was following the procedure and thanking everyone for the love and support. 

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The model also thanked her surgeon, Dr. Vilasagar, and the "amazing hospital staff at Atrium Health." Both wishing her a speedy recovery on social media.

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Her endometriosis surgeon shared this on her Instagram page:

"While it was apparent that she was not going to let this condition stop her from achieving her dreams, I heard her suffering and also knew that I could help by offering her the option of surgical excision (removal) of the endometriosis. Olivia Culpo is such an inspiration for sharing her journey so bravely and honestly! I’m so passionate about continuing this important work sharing endometriosis education and this message of hope with women who are #sufferinginsilence."

Credit: @drvilasagar_endosurgeon

What is endometriosis?

If you are not familiar with the disease, it is an often painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus, according to the Mayo Clinic.

This video also helps explain what the disease is and does to a woman's body. 

An advocacy group shared this about endometriosis: 

Around 176 million women suffer from endometriosis and likely have painful periods, cysts, and trouble with fertility because of it. Take that number of people affected and look at the number of medical professionals that specialize in it around the world. Endo Warriors WL says, there are less than 200 doctors worldwide who specialize in taking on the disease.