Lena Dunham opened up about her health struggles and revealed that she had a hysterectomy to remove her uterus and cervix in an attempt to end pain related to her endometriosis.
The Girls star, 31, wrote about her condition in an essay published in the March issue of Vogue. Dunham explained that she decided to have a hysterectomy after “years of complex surgeries measuring in the double digits” and several attempts to manage her endometriosis through various forms of therapy rendered unsuccessful.
While undergoing the procedure, Dunham’s doctors discovered that she had other medical issues. “In addition to endometrial disease, an odd hump-like protrusion and a septum running down the middle, I have retrograde bleeding, a.k.a. my period running in reverse so that my stomach is full of blood,” she explained. “My ovary was settled in on the muscles around the sacral nerves in my back that allow us to walk. Let’s please not even talk about my uterine lining. The only beautiful details is that the organ — which is meant to be shaped like a light bulb — was shaped like a heart.”
Although the writer thought she was finally “disease-free” in April 2017, after her fifth surgery to remove her ovaries from her rectal wall, she was not yet in the clear. Dunham was hospitalized again in May of that year during the Met Gala and had to cancel her speaking tour.
Dunham, who recently split from boyfriend of five years Jack Antonoff, is now unable to carry a child of her own. However, she is still interested in having children by other means.
“I may have felt choiceness before, but I know I have choices now. 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 wrote. “Adoption is a thrilling truth I’ll pursue with all my might.”
Dunham and Antonoff, 33, called it quits in January.
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