Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Think back to a time you were hunched over in a fetal position with the worst cramps ever. Now imagine having those intense cramps while dancing in front of a live audience. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? This is a reality for “Dancing with the Stars” dancer and now judge Julianne Hough who is featured as one of LIVESTRONG.COM's Stronger Women.

Endometriosis is a disease in which the uterus lining that normally grows on the inside of the uterus grows on the outside, causing extreme pain and fertility complications. The disease affects 10 percent of American women and — up until this past month — didn’t get a whole lot of publicity.

Hough, who was diagnosed with the condition in 2008, recently spoke out for the first time about what it’s like to live with a condition that impacts her relationships and career, and her words are bringing this overlooked disease into the spotlight.

Read more: The Leaders and Barrier Breakers Who Are Stronger Women

LIVESTRONG.COM talked to her about how endometriosis has changed her as a woman. Check out our interview to glean a few of Hough’s mental and physical health tips that help her thrive during live tapings of “Dancing with the Stars,” despite feeling very uncomfortable. (You go, Julianne!)

You can learn more about endometriosis by visiting

What Do YOU Think?

Do you or someone you know have an invisible illness like endometriosis? How do you manage or hide your pain while in public?

Video of the Day

About the Author

Michelle Vartan

Michelle is a mission-first journalist and content producer, telling stories that will help better other’s lives. She covers environment, health, human-interest, community and travel. Michelle lives in Santa Monica, Ca.