Why I decided to have a total hysterectomy - Lena Dunham

Why I decided to have a total hysterectomy - Lena Dunham

Actress Lena Dunham has revealed she's undergone a full hysterectomy, after many years of pain battling the complex and misunderstood condition endometriosis.

In an essay in the new issue of Vogue magazine, excerpted on the website of the Endometriosis Foundation of America, the 31-year-old NY native explains she elected to have the procedure after "years of complex surgeries measuring in the double digits" as well as alternative treatments including "pelvic floor therapy, massage therapy, pain therapy, color therapy, [and] acupuncture".

Since her hysterectomy, Dunham has said she's exploring her options for having children.

Lena Dunham said she underwent a hysterectomy amid her ongoing battle with endometriosis. "Adoption is a thrilling truth I'll pursue with all my might", she added. The tissue behaves like the lining of the womb, bleeding every month. It's true: Even when the uterus is removed, remaining tissue or lesions on other organs can still cause inflammation and pain over time.

This comes with unpleasant side effects like hot flashes, and many women have to start hormone therapy, taking estrogen to balance out their own hormones. Doctors do not always recognise it, assuming it is period pain.


Dunham has been vocal about her suffering. She had also been attempting to treat endometriosis with alternative healing methods, such as "pelvic floor therapy, massage therapy, pain therapy, colour therapy, acupuncture".

She's undergone multiple surgeries and was hospitalised several times for the condition. During the Met Gala in May of 2017, she had to go to the hospital and cancel her speaking tour.

Dunham, who recently split from boyfriend Jack Antonoff after five years together, can no longer carry a child, but she is now keen to explore her options for motherhood.

Experts say the lack of research and funding for a disease that affects one in 10 women of reproductive age is a scandal.

Worldwide, about 176 million women suffer from endometriosis, according to the Endometriosis Foundation. It is not a disease you get later in life. The Endometriosis Foundation of America published excerpts of the article on its website Tuesday. She made a decision to remove her reproductive organs to end the pain once and for all.

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