Veteran BBC presenter Naga Munchetty has revealed she has a painful womb condition as she recounted a time she recently felt like she was going to pass out from pain on BBC Breakfast.
Speaking to The Independent in an exclusive interview, the 48-year-old journalist said she has been diagnosed with a condition called adenomyosis which she had never heard of until the illness was identified around eight months ago.
Munchetty explained she is in constant pain and lives “every day on painkillers” as she noted she does not wear “light-coloured trousers” while presenting as she is “so afraid” of leaking while on her period.
Discussing the time she nearly passed out on BBC Breakfast, Munchetty recalled: “I just said, ‘I have to leave’. And I went to the loo and I thought I was going to pass out, but I threw up and then just came back.”
She said she was so overwhelmed with debilitating pain this weekend that her husband called an ambulance in the middle of the night - noting she had “never dialed 999” in her life.
The BBC Breakfast presenter added: “I was writhing around and moaning and screaming in pain. Eventually I got to sleep after about 45 minutes. And then it happened again in the middle of the night and we had to call an ambulance because I couldn’t be moved. And I was just screaming.
“All I remember saying is: ‘If the ambulance comes (which it didn’t), do not let them give me a full hysterectomy’. Because that is the only cure to get rid of it.”
An estimated one in 10 women is believed to have adenomyosis but the misunderstood condition often remains undetected by doctors for years and sometimes even decades.
Symptoms of the condition, which has been branded the “evil twin sister” of the much better known endometriosis, include heavy periods, bloating, and pelvic pain. The NHS has no page on its site describing adenomyosis despite having a dedicated section for endometriosis.
While Endometriosis and Adenomyosis both take place when the lining of the uterus develops out of place, there are key distinctions between the two conditions. Endometriosis sees rogue tissue encroach beyond the uterus, but with adenomyosis rogue tissue develops inside the uterus’ muscular wall.
“It was like something was exploding inside of me constantly,” the presenter said of the pain she faced over the weekend. “It was all around my pelvic area, down my thigh, and my lower back - to the point I couldn’t turn over.”
Munchetty, also a BBC Radio 5 Live presenter, noted her heavy periods have been “life-changing” as she explained she used to have a period which would last for ten days every two and a half weeks.
The broadcaster, who previously worked on Bloomberg and Channel 4 News, said she is currently enduring constant pain.
She added: “I’m living in pain. I live in pain at this moment. I would say I’m in level three or four. I live every day on painkillers. I have done for the past year. I’m angry and I’m really upset. I’m really upset that I have to do this.”
Munchetty revealed the crippling pain she has wrestled with for decades first began when she started her period at the age of 16 in a shopping centre with her mother.
“I literally was bent over double,” the presenter added. “I went to the loo - I was very ill. I threw up. I had started my period. It was very heavy. I was in extreme pain, crying, doubled over, feeling faint. And that became my routine every time I had my period.”