Endometriosis is a debilitatingly painful reproductive health condition that happens when tissue from the lining of the uterus grows on other organs. (Or, as some experts say, when tissue that is similar to uterine lining but different—and able to make its own estrogen—migrates to other organs.) In the essay, Dunham discusses how she came to the decision to have a total hysterectomy that would remove her uterus and cervix after years of surgeries, alternative treatments, and endometriosis causing “the greatest amount of physical pain” she’s ever experienced.
You’ve probably heard of a hysterectomy before, but you may not be totally sure what this medical procedure entails, why it’s done, and how having one can affect a person’s life. Here, experts share the most up-to-date information you need to know about hysterectomies.