Rita Simons has undergone a hysterectomy.
The 45-year-old actress – who has twin girls Jaimee and Maiya, 16, with her ex-husband Theo Silverston – went under the knife after seeing a consultant about her “debilitating” periods.
But after trying a mixture of hormones, which didn’t work for her, she was left with the op as the “only option”.
Rita – who previously played Roxy Mitchell in ‘EastEnders’ – said: “I was in panto and I got to the point where I was telling my agent not to book me on dates where I knew I’d be on my period, because it was so difficult to work. It was debilitating and I knew I couldn’t go through that every month.
“My emotions got completely freaked out every month. It got to the point where I must have five days a month where I’m OK and then I start ovulating again and it’s all downhill.
“Health comes first.”
Rita underwent a total radical hysterectomy, which saw her womb, cervix and both ovaries taken out, after her doctor informed her: “The only option is to remove everything.”
The star, who started dating former actor Ben Harlow before lockdown 2020, says a hysterectomy has felt like an “attack” on her femininity, but she accepts it was for the best.
She added to OK! magazine: “I feel like it’s all been an attack on my femininity but my good mental health is good for my kids, it’s good for Ben. They have felt my wrath when I’m premenstrual and they don’t deserve it.”
In February 2021, Rita told how she was is in a “whole world of pain” because of scoliosis – abnormal twisting and curvature of the spine – and “desperately” wanted an operation to sort it out.
She said at the time: “I hate my scoliosis with a passion. It’s definitely getting worse and it makes everything I wear weird.
“I had an X-ray not that long ago and my spine is a big old S now, and I’m in a whole world of pain most of the time.
“I work out everyday and I’m so grateful I have a gym at home. It’s so important to keep training when you have scoliosis – but in the right way.
“I do loads of strengthening and physio for the curve in my spine and it keeps me out of pain when I’m strict with my training.”