Lena Dunham has revealed that she recently had a hysterectomy in a bid to combat the chronic pain caused by endometriosis.
A hysterectomy involves the removal of the cervix and uterus, making it physically impossible to carry children.
In an essay for the March 2018 issue of US Vogue, the 31-year-old says she found out after the operation that her reproductive health troubles were even more serious than she thought.
“In addition to endometrial disease,” writes the controversial actor, writer, director and producer, “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. 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.”
Dunham says she still intends to have children, through alternative means. “I may have felt choiceless 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.”
The actress and writer was forced to cancel her US "Lenny IRL" tour in the following days, saying she was "in the greatest amount of physical pain that [she had] ever experienced." Nevertheless, she says it was a difficult decision to undergo the procedure, following “years of complex surgeries measuring in the double digits” and alternative treatments including “pelvic floor therapy, massage therapy, pain therapy, colour therapy, acupuncture,” and yoga.
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