Beverley Knight underwent a hysterectomy after what she believed to be a pregnancy turned out to be tumours in her uterus.
Speaking to Hello! magazine, the singer opened up about the extent of her health woes and how they have affected her career.
"I assumed I was pregnant," she said of the uterine fibroids that caused her stomach to swell. "I thought 'this can't be happening'. Having children has never been part of the plan."
The 44-year-old star, who rose to prominence more than 20 years ago with hit singles including Greatest Day and Shoulda Woulda Coulda, continued: "When I was told that my condition was creating a high risk of a stroke or worse, I was stunned.
"I never get ill and this was a real wake-up call. It's been a slow recovery but I should be healed completely soon."
Knight, who was made an MBE in February 2007 in recognition of her charitable work and the contribution she has made to British music, has spent much of this year recovering from the illness, which forced her to cancel June tour dates.
As she is no longer able to conceive naturally, she is now focusing on being the best aunt possible to her nieces and nephews. "I'm a proud aunty and godmum, but having children of my own has never been part of the plan," she revealed.
After bouncing back, the West End star has thrown herself into her work and is currently promoting her new album, Songs From The Stage, with fellow West End stars Amber Riley and Cassidy Janson. The record features iconic songs from musicals like Hamilton, Cats, Dreamgirls, and The Bodyguard.
Discussing the trio's collaboration, she said: "There was really great camaraderie and energy between the three of us. We had so much fun."