Yellow Wiggle Emma stepping down to treat endometriosis
CHILDREN'S entertainer Emma Watkins, who is better known for playing Yellow Wiggle Emma, will be taking time out from her tour to undergo surgery for a chronic health condition.
Watkins, who appeared on Channel 9's Today Show, said she is battling endometriosis.
Watkins, who is currently on tour in Brisbane with the children's entertainment group, said the diagnosis was "a really big shock".
"Over the last couple of years I had noticed a lot of pain," she told Today host Georgie Gardner.
"I think even as a girl you are just used to dealing with what you have to deal with, and I think as it started to progress to get a little bit worse I thought I should get it checked out."
Endometriosis affects one in 10 women in Australia, with 176 million women worldwide suffering from the chronic condition.
The condition occurs when the tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus develops in parts of the body outside the uterus, and can cause severe pain and even infertility.
Some symptoms of the condition include fatigue, pain around menstruation and even during sex.
"It can cause unnecessary bleeding and irregular periods," Watkins said.
"I think I thought it was a normal period but it really wasn't. I got headaches during the show and I thought, OK, this is probably a little bit too much now."
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Watkins - who is married to fellow Purple Wiggle Lachy Gillespie - said she had been suffering from "a lot of pain for the past couple of years".
"My doctor has advised I need 12 months to recover from this surgery," the 28-year-old said, who will be admitted to hospital on Tuesday.
Watkins said on the breakfast show that she will be replaced by a friend, and hopes speaking out about her surgery will provide more awareness around the condition.
"It is so common at the moment," she said.
"It is one in 10 women in Australia, nationwide that suffer from endometriosis. If I can spread awareness about checking up on your symptoms and if you do have pain, go and see somebody, because I know it is the been the best thing for me."