Marilyn and Endometriosis

Did Endometriosis Play a Role in Monroe’s Death?


Yesterday, August 5th, 2012, marked the fiftieth anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s untimely death. The star died of a drug overdose under still-debated circumstances at the age of 36. Marilyn, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, rose to fame in the early to mid-1950s, with a stream of hit movies that turned her into a mega-star.

But despite the glamorous photo spreads and sexual icon status, she spent much of her life in chronic pain due to endometriosis , suffering miscarriages , reportedly having at least one ectopic pregnancy and becoming addicted to pain killers. There was even one story that before going into one of her surgeries related to her infertility issues, she taped a note to her stomach, pleading with doctors not to take her female parts.

A few years ago, the Endometriosis Association was even bold enough to suggest that Marilyn’s infertility may have indirectly contributed to her death: “Marilyn Monroe was a victim of endometriosis, putting her in the hospital repeatedly, contributing to her use of pain-deadening narcotics and aggravating her psychological problems.”

Although we will never know exactly caused Marilyn’s death or the role that her fertility issues may have had in her unhappiness, we do know that treatment for endometriosis is much simpler and more effective than in Marilyn Monroe’s lifetime.


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