As published on Bustle.com
By now, you’ve heard that Angelina Jolie removed her ovaries and fallopian tubes in order to protect herself from developing cancer. Her announcement, published Tuesday in an op-ed in the New York Times, has helped to raise awareness about the choices a woman can take to manage the terms of her own health. But cancer prevention is just one reason a woman might remove her reproductive organs.
Take my friend, university student 23-year-old Kyra Yeo, who is about to undergo a hysterectomy. Unlike Jolie, she isn’t taking precautionary measures to prevent cancer. Yeo is getting the surgery because she suffers from a painful disorder called endometriosis, a disease which causes uterine tissue to grow outside of the uterus.
Only about half of the 6-10 percent of women who suffer from endometriosis experience chronic pain, and Yeo is one of them. Endometriosis has been the source of debilitating pain that has impacted her life to a profound degree for more than a decade.
“I was so incredibly isolated for several years because I was too fatigued and worn out to hang out with friends. I had a reputation as the ‘fun police’ and most people who I thought were my friends ended up dropping me,” Yeo tells Bustle…