Lena Dunham has always been candid about her struggle with endometriosis, the illness that caused her to take time off from the Girls press tour earlier this year. In a new photo posted to her Instagram story on Wednesday night, Dunham flaunted the scars from her endometriosis surgery (and her very relatable love of Target's swimwear). She also aptly captioned the photo, "when the Target swimsuit does a bitch right, endo scars and all."
Dunham previously opened up about endometriosis in an essay on her email newsletter, the Lenny Letter. "From the first time I got my period, it didn't feel right," she described. "The stomachaches began quickly and were more severe than the mild-irritant cramps seemed to be for the blonde women in pink-hued Midol commercials." The symptoms she described are usually the first warning signs of endometriosis, a condition in which the endometrial lining starts growing on the outside of the uterus instead of on the inside like it should. This often causes excruciating abdominal pain as well as irregular periods. Though endometriosis affects up to 10% of women in the U.S., it can often be hard to diagnose because the symptoms can vary and they tend to mimic other issues. For example, if the endometriosis is growing on sections of your intestines, you might have gastrointestinal symptoms, while other women only experience very intense cramping that is sometimes written off as normal menstrual cramps. There are various treatments that help, including hormonal therapies that stop the tissues' growth, and pain relievers, but many women opt for surgery to remove the tissues altogether. It's good to see that Dunham is baring her scars proudly and continuing to bring a little more visibility to a condition that often isn't discussed enough.