Lena Dunham has undergone a total hysterectomy after years of chronic pain caused by endometriosis, which is caused by tissue from the uterus lining growing outside the organ. The Endometriosis Foundation of America says the Girls star, who had the operation to remove her uterus and cervix in recent months, writes about her health issues in an essay in the March issue of Vogue. "In addition to endometrial disease, an odd hump-like protrusion and a septum running down the middle, I have retrograde bleeding, aka my period running in reverse so that my stomach is full of blood," she writes. "My ovary has settled in on the muscles around the sacral nerves in my back that allow us to walk." She says she was declared endometriosis-free after an earlier surgery, but then the condition returned and she was in more pain than ever.
"Let's please not even talk about my uterine lining," the 31-year-old writes. "The only beautiful detail is that the organ—which is meant to be shaped like a lightbulb—was shaped like a heart." She says she made the tough decision to have the surgery after "years of complex surgeries measuring in the double digits" and treatments including pelvic floor therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, and yoga. Dunham is now infertile, but she says she still hopes to have children and is looking at her options, E! Online reports. "Soon I'll start exploring whether my ovaries, which remain someplace inside me in that vast cavern of organs and scar tissue, have eggs," she writes. "Adoption is a thrilling truth I'll pursue with all my might."