Photo Credit: Justin Stephens/Bravo
After struggling with endometriosis that went undetected for years, Padma Lakshmi doubted whether she would ever be able to have children. So when the Top Chef host learned she was pregnant with now-3-month-old daughter Krishna (whose father is venture capitalist Adam Dell), “I was very surprised because I was told that I wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally,” the 39-year-old former model and author explains. “She was a total surprise blessing to me.”
Hoping to help other women suffering from the reproductive disease that is a leading cause of infertility, Lakshmi cofounded the nonprofit Endometriosis Foundation of America with her doctor to help educate women and fund research about the condition that often goes undiagnosed. (Lakshmi has recently partnered with Dial NutriSkin Body Wash – when you “like” the product on their Facebook page, $1 goes toward her charity.) “The diagnosis has been a revelation in every aspect of my life,” she explains. “That’s why I was so passionate to let other women know that this condition exists and why you don’t have to go through some of the things that you go through anymore if you seek treatment.”
iVillage caught up with Lakshmi about how her life has changed since being diagnosed with endometriosis, how she’s handling single motherhood and what surprises are in store now that the new season of Top Chef (which premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET) has headed to Washington, D.C.