Julianne Hough Says Endometriosis Pain Makes Sex ‘Really Frustrating’

Julianne Hough may be known for her dance moves, but she wants to be known for something else, too: endometriosis advocacy.

The former Dancing With The Stars judge opened up to Women’s Health about her 15 year struggle with endometriosis, a reproductive condition that causes chronic pain and cramping, but now she’s done suffering in silence.

Related: Julianne Opens Up About Body Confidence After Being Called ‘Fat’ On Set

After keeping her diagnosis a secret out of fear that it would hold her back “personally, professionally, and relationship-wise,” she has begun to open up publicly and in her relationship about the condition.

With her husband, pro hockey player Brooks Laich, it can make sex “really frustrating,” but he is understanding and supportive:

“It can definitely cut things short. Sometimes we’re in the middle and I’m just like ‘AH, stop!'”

Thankfully, the couple has found ways to be intimate without sex:

“He only wants to love on me and make me feel good. There’s so much intimacy without actually having sex. There are some cool things we’ve learned and it’s literally been awesome.”

Instead of holding back her pain, she has learned to embrace her body mindfully, she shared:

“If I feel stagnant, then my body’s stagnant, and then my insides feel stagnant. 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.”

She regularly shares positive affirmations and tips on her Instagram, like these steps to feeling more connected:

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Starting the week off right, and one of the ways I do that is by scanning my body. Ever tried it? It’s something I try to do daily, or sometimes multiple times a day depending on what’s going on in my life. It’s the easiest way for me to reconnect with all parts of myself. Here are the steps I follow: 1. Rub your hands together, creating heat and friction. 2. Separate your hands and feel the energy between them. 3. Start at the top of your head and work your way down the body. 4. While floating your hand over your body, concentrate on where you feel a strong connection (for example, could be your heart, your solar plex, or your third eye,). 5. Place a hand on that area and breathe deep in through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this for a minute or so. 6. Now do that body scan again, this time focusing on an area that feels disconnected. 7. Once you find that place, place your hands on the spot and breathe into it, and speak the words “I feel disconnected”. One more thing I like to do during this is make a sound… if the area that feels disconnected isn’t easy to breathe into, make a sound that reflects the discomfort (sound is one of the best healing methods). 8. Breathe into that area for about a minute. 9. Now go back to the part of your body that felt connected and place one hand there. Breathe in through your nose into that spot. On the exhale, place your other hand in the area that felt disconnected and breathe out all of the positive connected air into that space. 10. Do this for a few minutes, or however long feels good. 11. Repeat the body scan and notice a difference in your breath, the peace within, and total connectivity to all parts of you! 😊

A post shared by Julianne Hough (@juleshough) on

Thank you for speaking out, Julianne!!

[Image via Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.]

Jan 15, 2019 12:33pm PDT