Painful choice

Complications from endometriosis force Lena Dunham to undergo total hysterectomy

Lena Dunham (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

After enduring years of complex surgeries, Girls creator Lena Dunham has undergone a total hysterectomy in order to alleviate her painful symptoms of endometriosis. Dunham revealed that she underwent the procedure in an article featured in the upcoming March issue of Vogue, an excerpt of which was shared with the website of the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

“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,” wrote Dunham, 31. “My ovary has 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 detail is that the organ — which is meant to be shaped like a light bulb — was shaped like a heart.”

As a result of the surgery, Dunham will no longer be able to have children, but she says that she hopes her ovaries may still hold viable eggs, and that “adoption is a thrilling truth I’ll pursue with all my might.”

Dunham went through five surgeries in 12 months prior to April 2017, when she told subscribers of her Lenny email newsletter in April that she was “disease free.” But while attending the Met gala just a month later, Dunham was hospitalized as complications arose from her most recent surgery. Endometriosis, a condition in which the uterine lining grows on the outside of the uterus or elsewhere, affects an estimated one in 10 women. Diagnoses for the condition take an average of seven to 10 years, as women and doctors alike commonly dismiss its symptoms as period pain.

Read the full story at The Sydney Morning Herald.


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