On Tuesday, Lena Dunham had her left ovary removed after the scar tissue on the ovary caused her to experience worsening pain.
In a post to her Instagram, Dunham wrote that she had a two-hour surgery to remove the ovary, "which was encased in scar tissue & fibrosis, attached to my bowel and pressing on nerves that made it kinda hard to walk/pee/vamp."
Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of your uterus (or endometrial lining, as its known) grows on the outside of your uterus instead of inside the uterus as it normally should. Endometriosis can cause extreme abdominal pain, irregular periods, and fatigue. Because the lining is growing on other parts of your body during endometriosis, removing an ovary can often lessen pain. This isn't advised treatment for everyone who has endometriosis, nor is it a cure for endometriosis, but it may help for some people.
In the weeks before removing her ovary, Dunham said she had paid several visits to the emergency room to manage her symptoms, and had to bow out of press responsibilities for her new show, Camping.
"A lot of people commented on my last post about being too sick to finish promoting my show by saying my hysterectomy should have fixed it (I mean *should* is a weird one)," she wrote in the caption of her latest Instagram. "But a big lesson I’ve learned in all this is that health, like most things, isn’t linear — things improve and things falter and you start living off only cranberry juice from a sippy cup/sleeping on a glorified heating pad but you’re also happier than you’ve been in years."
She then concluded by vowing to use her experiences to advocate for other women who suffer from the same kind of pain: "My health not being a given has paid spiritual dividends I could never have predicted and it’s opened me up in wild ways and it’s given me a mission: to advocate for those of us who live at the cross section of physical and physic pain, to remind women that our stories don’t have to look one way, our pain is our gain and oh shit scars and mesh “panties” are the fucking jam. Join me, won’t you?"