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- American actress
The ‘Girls’ actress has previously opened up about her battle with the condition, which causes tissue behaving like the lining of the womb to grow in other parts of the body.
In an essay in the March 2018 issue of Vogue the 31-year-old writer and actress explained that after “years of complex surgeries measuring in the double digits” and unsuccessful attempts to treat the painful disorder with “pelvic floor therapy, massage therapy, pain therapy, colour therapy [and] acupuncture,” she finally decided to have the procedure, which involves the surgical removal of the cervix and uterus.
In the essay, parts of which were republished by the Endometriosis Foundation of America, Dunham explained that her health issues were found to be more complicated than doctors had hoped.
“In addition to endometrial disease,” she writes “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.”
“My ovary has settled in on the muscles around the sacral nerves in my back that allow us to walk,” she continues. “Let’s please not even talk about my uterine lining. The only beautiful detail is that the organ—which is meant to be shaped like a light bulb—was shaped like a heart.”
In April last year, the ‘Girls’ creator had hoped her battle with the condition would come to an end after yet another surgery, but just a month later she was rushed to hospital after complications and later was forced to cancel her Lenny Letter tour.
Thank you for all the love & concern that's been pouring in since Tuesday. Although I'm much healthier than I was a year ago, complications arose from my most recent endometriosis surgery. When the healthcare of so many American women, especially our trans sisters, is at-risk- or already nonexistent- I am lucky to be in the position to seek help when I'm in pain. To those in that privileged spot- never forget that we are blessed and can pay it forward by supporting Planned Parenthood and LGBTQ clinics like Callen-Lorde with our and ⌚️. I also want to remind all the women suffering from chronic illness that we aren't weak- quite the opposite, actually. We do our jobs with skill even when we're struggling. We care for our families even when we can hardly care for ourselves. We serve major face on a red carpet when we feel like lying face down would be more appropriate. I'll always be proud of those Met Gala pics- not just because I felt beautiful, surrounded by art and magic, hugging my best friend tightly, but because they're evidence that women contain steely multitudes. Just that morning @dianafalzone sued Fox after they took her off air for disclosing her endometriosis. But they're the ones who lost when they lost her, because everyone who's anyone knows that if you can battle chronic illness there's nothing you can't take on.
A post shared by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on May 4, 2017 at 8:22am PDT
“To be perfectly honest,” she explained at the time, “I’m in the greatest amount of physical pain that I have ever experienced. After being told I was endometriosis-free after my last procedure, more disease was found in deeper spots that required immediate surgery and now physical therapy.”
According to the NHS one of the main complications of endometriosis is difficulty getting pregnant or not being able to get pregnant at all (infertility).
Despite now facing her own fertility battle following the hysterectomy, Lena Dunham is hopeful about becoming a parent in the future and is already exploring routes to motherhood.
“I may have felt choice-less before, but I know I have choices now,” she writes. “Soon I’ll start exploring whether my ovaries, which remain someplace inside me in that vast cavern of organs and scar tissue, have eggs. Adoption is a thrilling truth I’ll pursue with all my might.”
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