Lena Dunham Opens Up About 3rd ER Visit For Endometriosis

Photo: Gregory Pace/REX/Shutterstock.
Every time a well known person speaks out about a health issue, they're doing good for everybody facing the same challenge. In the case of Lena Dunham, her openness about her struggle with endometriosis has the potential to affect the millions of people (1 in 10 women) battling the condition.

On Thursday, the actress opened up again about her struggle with the chronic and often painful disease — in which uterine lining grows outside the uterus — in a firsthand account she shared on her Women of the Hour podcast. With the help of her producer, Dunham documented a recent emergency room visit due to her endometriosis. "This is my fourth time in the last three-and-a-half months being in the Lennox Hill Emergency Room," Dunham says on the episode. "Third time for ovarian trouble... I spend a lot of time in this emergency room."

Dunham explains, from inside New York's Lennox Hill Emergency Room, that she entered the ER after what she believed to be a UTI became increasingly painful. "I started antibiotics, didn’t do anything, and the pain in my back and my pelvis has become overwhelming... So I’m here to figure out if I have an ovarian cyst or some other kind of ovarian issue that’s causing the continuous pain that is draining me of my life force."

The Girls creator went into detail about her immediate treatment — which would include a vaginal ultrasound and painkillers — as well as effects of the disease, like previously experiencing withdrawal from the morphine administered to help her tolerate the pain. "I felt like I’d done something terribly wrong just by wanting to feel better," she noted.

While there is no cure for endometriosis, doctors can help women manage their symptoms with treatment options like birth control, pain medication, and surgery. And Dunham's candor can only increase awareness and decrease stigma about the affliction so many women deal with everyday.
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