Marilyn`s body was astonishingly beautiful. Her proportions were as naturally perfect as many movie star`s would get, But on the inside, her reproductive system put her through a living hell. Marilyn suffered several miscarriages. She suffered from endometriosis and her periods were excruciatingly painful. Endometriosis happens when part of the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus, This lining also bleeds during menstruation. Although Marilyn was a screen goddess, the goddess of beauty and sex, her body played a sadly ironic joke against her when it rendered her nearly sterile and cause her so much angst.She had a number of abortions although it isn`t certain how many. She told friends she`d had twelve abortions during her early years as an actress. The birth control pill was not yet available so this is quite possible. The abortions may have influenced her later inability to carry a pregnancy past the first trimester. Then again, they may not. Marilyn used strong painkillers to squelch the awful pain of her menstrual periods. They were similar to morphine in the way they reacted inside the brain.
Insofar as Marilyn`s body and the public are concerned, her nude calendar pictures and her impressive measurements solidify her image as a sex icon. Her second husband, Joe DiMaggio, definitely doesn`t approve. He wants her body all to himself, understandably. But Marilyn promoted her body as her main asset. The two were at a definite crossroads. Rumor has it that DiMaggio beat Marilyn on several occasions. Personally, the jury`s out.After Marilyn`s steamy publicity stunt for the 7 Year Itch, where she stood over a subway grate in front of thousands of people, giggling as her white skirt blew up around her waist, the marriage disintegrated. They`d been wedded to one another for 9 months.
Ironically, Marilyn was ready to put aside the dumb blonde image Hollywood hoisted upon her. She broke a contract with them after her divorce was complete and fled to New York to study `serious, dramatic acting“ with the Actors Studio. After her return to Hollywood to star in Bus Stop, Marilyn`s reputation for late arrivals and temperamental behavior becomes well-known. However the barbiturates Marilyn took for her menstrual pain and to treat her insomnia may have had a significant effect on her. Studio doctors were happy to prescribe anything that was needed to get the star in front of the camera. Marilyn regularly took a cacophony of barbiturates including phenobarbital, amobarbital, pentobarbital, and secorbarbital. These drugs do not just effect the part of the brain that affects sleep. They affect the whole brain, causing sluggishness. They affect the heart and slow down the breathing.
Like many drugs, barbiturates alter the brain`s composition. Over time the same amount isn`t enough and Marilyn began taking more. She easily slipped into taking toxic amounts. The muddled state barbiturates left Marilyn in most likely effected her behavior on and off the set. It would have been very difficult for her to wake up any time the barbiturates knocked her out. Her response was to take amphetamines to wake her again. They give feelings of pleasure normally caused by food and sex. However they also cause paranoia and fear. Marilyn already suffered from insecurity, insomnia and fear of appearing on set. Certainly this combination of drugs was causing more harm than good.
By the mid-50`s alcohol became prominent in Marilyn`s life. She began to drink champagne almost daily, often foregoing food so she could drink and not gain extra calories. Alcohol and barbiturates each make the other more powerful. A mixture of alcohol and barbiturates is a classic recipe for an overdose, accidental or otherwise. When filming Some Like it Hot Marilyn often retreated into her trailer, sometimes hindered by the drugs.Once when a stagehand called her to the set she responded with “go fuck yourself.” She demonstrated difficulty in remember simple lines such as `where`s the bourbon.`` Marilyn developed a gall bladder infection and it had to be removed, leaving an unsightly scar that partly folded a piece of skin over itself.
Around this time Marilyn and Arthur Miller attempted to have a child. It was rumored Marilyn was pregnant during the filming of Hot but later suffered a miscarriage. That`s a possibility but it`s also possible that the one occasion where Marilyn became sick on the beach and had to be rushed to her trailer may also have been caused by the barbiturates. One year after she and Miller married, she had an ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilized egg remains in the fallopian tube, rather than traveling to the uterus. It had to be surgically removed.
Marilyn desperately wanted to have a child at this point in her life and she became despondent. She felt terrible anxiety and guilt. It was yet another blow to her already fragile psyche. During this time Marilyn had a deliberate overdose of drugs and would have died had Miller not found her. After her miscarriage, she had another major overdose and was discovered by the maid. When she was resuscitated she wept. `:Why am I still here. Jesus. All those bastards` Her total number of drug overdoses by this time in her life was three. Truly it was only a matter of time before she succeeded.