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Why Monica Spoke Out About Endometriosis: I Want Women to ‘Know They’re Not Alone’

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Earlier this month, Monica opened up for the first time about her diagnosis of endometriosis, and the “almost 8 hour” successful surgery she underwent to remove cysts, fibroids and a hernia.

Since then, the “So Gone” singer has decided to share her journey, in hopes that it will help other women through theirs.

“My reason for sharing is because we, as women, are built to be warriors and we will ignore something that seems so simple that can be so complex,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively. “Your uterine health is very important. I spoke up about it so people out there who are going through the same thing know that they’re not alone.”

After “being hospitalized multiple times for debilitating migraines,” Monica and her ob/gyn Dr. Ceana Nazhat decided to “look a little further into what could be causing the issue.”

“May 30th I had an almost 8 hour surgery to remove my endometriosis (which I didn’t know I had until two weeks prior), 2 cysts, fibroids & a hernia that all were making me very sick,” she revealed in an Instagram post on June 17. “I’ve known something was wrong but I also knew victory & better health would be near again!!”

Endometriosis is a disorder in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus is found outside the uterus. It can affect women’s reproductive organs, and can be extremely “painful, uncomfortable and hard to talk about,” according to Monica.

“One thing I’ve learned throughout this particular journey is that you have to listen to your body, and you have to listen to your doctor, which means you have to know, respect and understand them; it’s a relationship that’s very important,” she says.

Nearly one month post-surgery, the singer is feeling “really good” and returning to the stage to present at the first-ever NBA Awards on Monday.

“I’m just a country girl who enjoys seeing people work hard, like the very last game of the finals—amazing game!” she says. “I just enjoy the competitiveness and then to see them hug and congratulate each other at the end.”

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And while Monica jokes she’s “not rooting for anyone unless my husband [former Miami Heat player Shannon Brown] is on the team,” she says she’s “really proud of the people who have become like family to us.”

“My son, Romelo, is so excited for Steph Curry and their entire team, but then my goddaughter’s father plays on the Cavs,” Monica adds.

With Drake set to host and her “sister” Nicki Minaj confirmed to take the stage, Monica knows “when you have both of them in the same room it’s not only going to be a good time, but it’s going to be great music.”

The NBA Awards, which will honor all of the league’s top performers, will air live from Basketball City in New York on June 26 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT.