Lena Dunham Reveals She Had a Full Hysterectomy to Remove Her Uterus & Cervix
Lena Dunham has hopefully, finally, put an end to her pain. If you've been wondering why the Girls star has been M.I.A. lately, this might definitely be the reason. Lena revealed that she underwent a full hysterectomy to remove her uterus and cervix. Over the years, the actress has been vocal about her battle with endometriosis (which occurs when the tissue lining of the uterus is found outside the uterus), but now she's taken permanent measures in order to help her fight.
In a personal essay for Vogue‘s March 2018 issue, Lena opened up about undergoing the surgery after “years of complex surgeries measuring in double digits.” She also revealed that during her hysterectomy, doctors discovered other problems that could have severely affected her health.
“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 said in her essay.
“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,” she continued.
In April, Lena said she was “endometriosis-free” after undergoing surgery. However, weeks later she suffered complications and had to be rushed to the hospital after the 2017 Met Gala.
“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.”
But Lena said she's very hopeful for the future, which still includes plans to have children of her own. “I may have felt choice-less before, but I know I have choices now,” she wrote in Vogue. “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.”
Lena is not alone, though. Julianne Hough was also diagnosed with endometriosis in 2008 and continues to deal with pain to this day. In 2015, Angelina Jolie announced her plans to undergo a hysterectomy after she found out she had a defective gene that increases her odds at developing cancer.
We applaud Lena for making the brave decision to stop her suffering. We can't imagine how difficult it must be to go through it physically and mentally.