By ISLA WHITCROFT
Last year, Julia Bradbury, a presenter on BBC1's Watchdog, underwent surgery for endometriosis. This painful condition affects up to two million women in the UK and can cause infertility. Although it is treatable, some don't discover they have the condition until it is too late.
Here, Julia, who is single and lives in London, tells ISLA WHITCROFT how she discovered that she had the condition:
Back in October 2005, I popped into the Viveka Well Woman clinic in London for a check-up. I didn't have any specific health concerns - my hectic life as a TV presenter doesn't really give me any time to be ill - but at the ripe old age of 33, I felt it would be a good time to check that I was still in working order.
Like millions of women in their 30s who haven't yet settled down and started having babies, I wanted to know I was still fertile - that my eggs were still making a monthly appearance and, should I want to, I could still conceive and carry a baby.
I wasn't anticipating any problems, but chatting to the doctor I mentioned casually that since I'd turned 30 my periods had been getting heavier. He sent me for an ultrasound scan of my womb and within an hour I was listening with disbelief as the radiologist explained that I had clear and extensive signs of endometriosis.