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Former glamour model, 26, plagued by a crippling womb condition praised by Lena Dunham

A ex-glamour model plagued by an incurable disease has been dubbed a ‘heroine’ by a major Hollywood star.

Carla Cressy, once voted one of the country’s prettiest women, has been praised by fellow endometriosis sufferer Lena Dunham.

The 31-year-old actress congratulated Miss Cressy as she secured support from MPs to set up the first All Party Parliamentary Group on Endometriosis.

Dunham, creator and star of hit series ‘Girls’, had a hysterectomy to combat the disease, which strikes one in ten women, she revealed earlier this year.

She contacted Miss Cressy, for Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, on Instagram. Her message read: ‘Heroine – keep going baby. 

’11 surgeries in and I won’t stop shouting til life is bearable in the way we deserve.’

Carla Cressy, once voted one of the country’s prettiest women, has been praised by fellow endometriosis sufferer Lena Dunham

The group will unite MPs to help women battle the brutal condition and help raise awareness to get an early diagnosis. 

British actress and ‘Brookside’ legend Anna Friel also sent Miss Cressy, who runs the Women With Endometriosis charity, a message, which said: ‘I’m proud of you.’  

The praise comes as Miss Cressy, a former Zoo and Nuts magazine pin-up, fights to warn girls about endometriosis, which nearly killed her last year. 

She was even forced to undergo an emergency caesarean section – normally used during a traumatic labour – to quickly drain litres of poison from her body.

Miss Cressy, 26, said: ‘I was really humbled when Lena reached out to me, I’m a big fan of her work and anything she can do to get the message out is invaluable.

‘Despite the pain and ongoing surgeries, I’ve had to endure at least I can help other girls.

The praise comes as Miss Cressy, a former Zoo and Nuts magazine pin-up, fights to warn girls about endometriosis, which nearly killed her last year

The praise comes as Miss Cressy, a former Zoo and Nuts magazine pin-up, fights to warn girls about endometriosis, which nearly killed her last year

She was even forced to undergo an emergency caesarean section - normally used during a traumatic labour - to quickly drain litres of poison from her body

She was even forced to undergo an emergency caesarean section – normally used during a traumatic labour – to quickly drain litres of poison from her body

Dunham congratulated Miss Cressy as she secured support from MPs to set up the first All Party Parliamentary Group on Endometriosis

Dunham congratulated Miss Cressy as she secured support from MPs to set up the first All Party Parliamentary Group on Endometriosis

She contacted Miss Cressy, for Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, on Instagram. Her message read: 'Heroine - keep going baby'

She contacted Miss Cressy, for Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, on Instagram. Her message read: ‘Heroine – keep going baby’

WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?

Endometriosis affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide, but many remain undiagnosed.

It’s a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus develops in other places, such as on the bladder, bowel and ovaries.

It then breaks down and bleeds, causing heavy periods and pain.

Scar tissue and adhesions can form and in severe cases, this causes organs to fuse together.

Symptoms include heavy periods, pelvic pain, pain during sex, infertility and painful bowel movements and urination – especially during a period.

It can also cause symptoms similar to food allergies as foods containing oestrogen exacerbate the condition. 

‘The fact I’ve been recognised by someone so famous is really gratifying and gives me hope for the future.

‘She knows what it is like to suffer every day and hopefully the more people that are talking about endometriosis the quicker we can get something done.

‘I had to suffer for years without a diagnosis, but hopefully girls in the future will get the treatment they need a lot sooner.

She added: ‘I can’t believe how fast this has all grown, it wasn’t long ago that I was in hospital wondering what was wrong with me.

‘Now I’m meeting MPs and I’m supporting thousands of women online who are struggling like me.’ 

Miss Cressy’s endometriosis went undiagnosed for 10 years as doctors thought she had irritable bowel syndrome and she was forced to endure painful six-week periods.

She has been left badly scarred in her battle with the painful condition, which has haunted her since she was 14, and has been unable to work. 

Miss Cressy said: 'I was really humbled when Lena reached out to me, I'm a big fan of her work and anything she can do to get the message out is invaluable'

Miss Cressy said: ‘I was really humbled when Lena reached out to me, I’m a big fan of her work and anything she can do to get the message out is invaluable’

Miss Cressy's endometriosis went undiagnosed for 10 years as doctors thought she had irritable bowel syndrome and she was forced to endure painful six-week periods

Miss Cressy’s endometriosis went undiagnosed for 10 years as doctors thought she had irritable bowel syndrome and she was forced to endure painful six-week periods

British actress and 'Brookside' legend Anna Friel also sent Miss Cressy, who runs the Women With Endometriosis charity, a message, which said: 'I'm proud of you'

British actress and ‘Brookside’ legend Anna Friel also sent Miss Cressy, who runs the Women With Endometriosis charity, a message, which said: ‘I’m proud of you’

She has been left badly scarred in her battle with the painful condition, which has haunted her since she was 14, and has been unable to work

She has been left badly scarred in her battle with the painful condition, which has haunted her since she was 14, and has been unable to work

Her uterus, bowel, fallopian tubes and ovaries are fused together by scar tissue – a rare complication of endometriosis called frozen pelvis disease.

She is now preparing for another bowel surgery, which could force her to have a colostomy bag due to the damage caused to her intestine.

Despite having all this hanging over her she has set up an online community, encouraging bonds and self-care amongst women who suffer. 

Miss Cressy has also been supported by her MP Sir David Amess who his helping her fight for better education in schools.

He said: ‘I was delighted that Carla and her colleagues met a number of MPs who not only empathised with their condition but were actually suffering from it themselves.

Her uterus, bowel, fallopian tubes and ovaries are fused together by scar tissue - a rare complication of endometriosis called frozen pelvis disease

Her uterus, bowel, fallopian tubes and ovaries are fused together by scar tissue – a rare complication of endometriosis called frozen pelvis disease

She is now preparing for another bowel surgery

It could force her to have a colostomy bag due to the damage caused to her intestine

She is now preparing for another bowel surgery, which could force her to have a colostomy bag due to the damage caused to her intestine

Despite having all this hanging over her she has set up an online community, encouraging bonds and self-care amongst women who suffer

Miss Cressy has also been supported by her MP Sir David Amess who his helping her fight for better education in schools

Despite having all this hanging over her she has set up an online community, encouraging bonds and self-care amongst women who suffer. Miss Cressy has also been supported by her MP Sir David Amess who his helping her fight for better education in schools

‘The whole purpose of the newly formed group is to heighten awareness of the disorder, share experiences, and encourage support.’

Endometriosis occurs when cells similar to those in the lining of the womb grow elsewhere in the body, including the ovaries, bowel or bladder. 

Some women only have mild symptoms – while others have severe pain that can affect their quality of life and ability to conceive.

High-profile sufferers include singer and Strictly Come Dancing star Louise Redknapp and US actress Susan Sarandon. 

Singer Emma Bunton has also spoken out about the illness, as has American actress Whoopi Goldberg.  

For more information on the charity and tips on how to cope with the illness visit Health Unlocked of Women With Endometriosis.    

Endometriosis occurs when cells similar to those in the lining of the womb grow elsewhere in the body, including the ovaries, bowel or bladder

Some women only have mild symptoms – while others have severe pain that can affect their quality of life and ability to conceive

Endometriosis occurs when cells similar to those in the lining of the womb grow elsewhere in the body, including the ovaries, bowel or bladder. Some women only have mild symptoms – while others have severe pain that can affect their quality of life and ability to conceive

Miss Cressy said: 'I had to suffer for years without a diagnosis, but hopefully girls in the future will get the treatment they need a lot sooner'

Miss Cressy said: ‘I had to suffer for years without a diagnosis, but hopefully girls in the future will get the treatment they need a lot sooner’

LENA DUNHAM REVEALS SHE UNDERWENT A TOTAL HYSTERECTOMY 

Lena Dunham has revealed she underwent a total hysterectomy to remove her uterus and cervix after enduring years of endometriosis-related pain.

The actress, 31, revealed she had the procedure in the March issue of Vogue.

She said her decision came after ‘years of complex surgeries measuring in the double digits’ and trying alternative treatments such as ‘pelvic floor therapy, massage therapy, pain therapy, color therapy, acupuncture and yoga’. 

Doctors discovered she had other medical issues that were causing her pain during the procedure.

‘In addition to endometrial disease, an odd hump-like protrusion and a septum running down the middle, I have retrograde bleeding, a.k.a. my period running in reverse so that my stomach is full of blood,’ she wrote.  

‘My ovary has settled in on the muscles around the sacral nerves in my back that allow us to walk. Let’s please not even talk about my uterine lining. The only beautiful detail is that the organ — which is meant to be shaped like a light bulb — was shaped like a heart.’

Dunham, who recently split from boyfriend Jack Antonoff after five years together, can no longer carry a child, but she is now keen to explore her options for motherhood. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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