Martine McCutcheon has revealed how her battle with ME almost prevented her from becoming a mum.
The 41-year-old mum of one, who shares son Rafferty with husband Jack McManus, made the comments during an appearance on BBC Breakfast, explaining how she feared the condition would stop her from starting a family.
'I became very unwell, to the point where I couldn't work, and I really wanted to have my son,' she said. 'It was ruining my chances of becoming a mother, it was that debilitating.'
However, she added that she'd managed to channel her emotions at the difficult situation into music, which became something of an outlet for her at a time when she was unable to take to the stage.
'My husband who is a producer said to me, "Write this stuff down, its what you did before." I missed being able to perform, and didn't know if I ever would again at the time. But it was my one way of being creative and it really helped me, like a kind of medicine.'
Back in May 2016, Martine appeared on ITV's Loose Women to discuss how her battle with ME affected her relationship with her husband.
The star, who's been married to singer Jack since 2012, said she had been diagnosed with the condition eight years ago. Explaining the symptoms, she said: 'I would describe it as personally for me, it's a malfunction of your body, a virus in the computer of your body.
'You're pushed to your limits too much. You feel like you're really hungover, like you've been beaten up by Mike Tyson. I was getting lots of infections and my immune system was down.'
The actress revealed that her battle with the condition got so bad, that at one point she gave her husband permission to leave her. 'I did say to him at one point, if you want to go on and meet someone else, go. I don't want you to lose out because of me,' she admitted.
'He was like, "don't be stupid, we'll get through this together"', adding: 'When we got married everything went wrong for us... Brush yourself down, this is going to end.'
Martine told the panel that her pregnancy had actually eased the ME, even feeling like a fresh start. 'It was like a reset. I still had to manage it. I can live a normal life now. I can commit to things. Most of all I'm healthy for my son. My marriage is good again,' she said.
ME, also known as Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), can cause continual exhaustion that affects everyday life, and doesn't go away with sleep or rest. According to the NHS it affects around 250,000 people in the UK, and is more common in women than men.
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