Lena Dunham has revealed she underwent a total hysterectomy to remove her uterus and cervix after enduring years of endometriosis-related pain.
The actress, 31, revealed she had the procedure in the March issue of Vogue.
She said her decision came after ‘years of complex surgeries measuring in the double digits’ and trying alternative treatments such as ‘pelvic floor therapy, massage therapy, pain therapy, color therapy, acupuncture and yoga’.
Lena Dunham has revealed in an essay in the new issue of Vogue that she has had her uterus and cervix removed in a bid to end her pain caused by endometriosis
Doctors discovered she had other medical issues that were causing her pain during the procedure.
‘In addition to endometrial disease, 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,’ she wrote.
‘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, 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.
Documenting her journey: The HBO star has been very open about her struggle with endometriosis including multiple operations
‘Adoption is a thrilling truth I’ll pursue with all my might’: Lena explained that she is now keen to explore her options for motherhood. The 31-year-old actress is pictured out in West Hollywood last month
‘I may have felt choiceless before, but I know I have choices now,’ she says.
‘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 HBO star has been very open about her struggles with the endometriosis, a disorder which causes tissue that normally lines the uterus to grow outside of it.
Last April, in a Lenny letter Lena revealed that she was endometriosis-free after undergoing her latest surgical procedure which involved moving her ovaries away from her rectal wall.
‘My surgery went off without a hitch,’ she explained. ‘When I emerged, cotton-mouthed, [Dr. Randy Harris] told me something I hadn’t expected to hear, maybe ever: there was no endometriosis left. Between my surgeries and hormonal intervention, I was disease-free.’
She added: ‘That doesn’t mean it can never return, but for now, once my sutures have been removed and my bruises have changed from blue to yellow to green to gone, I will be healthy.’
But unfortunately it did return, as in May 2017 Lena was forced to leave the New York Met Gala early because of the excruciating pain caused by the disorder.
WHAT IS A HYSTERECTOMY?
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman’s uterus.
There are three kinds:
The operation is most commonly performed on women between the ages of 40 and 49.
More than 20 million American women have had a hysterectomy, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As women approach menopause, the odds that they will develop one of several serious uterine health conditions increases. Doctors may recommend a hysterectomy as a treatment for:
In some cases, doctors may suggest a hysterectomy as a preventative measure if a woman has significant warning or early signs of developing one or more of these conditions.
When necessary, surgeons may also remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes, if these have also been damaged or are at serious risk of damage.
The removal of reproductive organs sends a woman’s body into menopause, no matter how old she is.
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.