Lena Dunham Had Her Left Ovary Removed: 'It Got Worse and Worse'
Lena Dunham had her left ovary removed on Tuesday in the hopes of further fixing her endometriosis pain
“Yesterday I had a two hour surgery to remove my left ovary, which was encased in scar tissue and fibrosis, attached to my bowel and pressing on nerves that made it kinda hard to walk/pee/vamp,” Dunham wrote on Wednesday morning. “Over the last month it got worse and worse until I was simply a burrito shaped like a human.”
Dunham revealed on Oct. 10 that she had to pull out of the press tour for her new show, Camping, due to the pain, and said now that she was frustrated with some of the comments she received.
“A lot of people commented on my last post about being too sick to finish promoting my show by saying they thought my hysterectomy would have fixed it (so did I). That I should get acupuncture and take supplements (I do). That I should see a therapist because it’s clearly psychological (year 25, y’all. These are the fruits!),” she said. “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.”
Dunham underwent a full hysterectomy to remove her uterus and cervix in February, in the hopes of ending her crippling endometriosis pain. While it was a necessary decision for her health, it was bittersweet for the former Girls star, as it eliminated any chance of getting pregnant.
Dunham said that her endometriosis-related health struggles through the years —the half-dozen surgeries, missed Met Galas, the hysterectomy and more — changed her mentally.
“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 s— scars and mesh ‘panties’ are the f—— jam.”
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She also added that her ability to fight for her health while others don’t have that luxury is frustrating to watch.
“I feel blessed creatively and tickled by my new and improved bellybutton and so so so lucky to have health insurance as well as money for care that is off my plan. But I’m simultaneously shocked by what my body is and isn’t doing for me and red with rage that access to medical care is a privilege and not a right in this country and that women have to work extra hard just to prove what we already know about our own bodies and what we need to be well,” she said. “It’s humiliating.”