Lena Dunham battling endometriosis, takes break from ‘Girls’ promotion

Lena Dunham sits down with LinkedIn Executive Editor Dan Roth on December 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Mike Windle/Getty Images

Girls creator, actress and director Lena Dunham has taken to Facebook to announce that she’ll be taking a break from promoting her HBO series so she can recuperate from severe endometriosis.

“I am currently going through a rough patch with the illness and my body (along with my amazing doctors) let me know, in no uncertain terms, that it’s time to rest,” said Dunham in her Facebook post.

Dunham says she won’t be doing any press for the latest season of Girls as she grapples with the menstrual disease.

Endometriosis is a “puzzling disease,” according to the Canadian Women’s Health Network. The disorder occurs when tissue that normally lies on the inside of your uterus grows outside of your uterus instead. It most often involves your ovaries, bowels and the tissue lining your pelvis, the Mayo Clinic explains.

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In some cases, it even spreads beyond the pelvic region. After that, the displaced tissue thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. But because some of the displaced tissue has no way to leave the body, it becomes trapped. That’s when cysts form, irritating tissue and developing scar tissue in the process. Some women end up grappling with fertility issues, but the most common symptoms include lethargy, stomach pain and nausea.

Dunham has talked candidly about her battle with the condition in her Lenny newsletters. In a November edition, titled The Sickest Girl, she writes about “bleeding from my vagina” for a month straight, realizing something was off with her menstrual cycle at an early age, and learning she’d have to live with “long-term chronic infection.”

“After six painless months, I began to experience a recurrence of symptoms, that aforementioned non-stop vaginal bleeding in upstate New York, and migraines that kept me in bed at inconvenient hours. I remained engaged at work, but the effort was breathtaking at times,” Dunham confessed about her recovery after having a laparoscopic surgery to definitely diagnose the condition.

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“…A few days of every Girls season, I would come into work with that tell-tale stomach pain, nausea and inability to move a muscle. The feeling of stopping a crew of 100 people from doing their jobs is far more stressful than missing Intro to Greek drama class at a liberal arts college, but I felt the same sense of hot shame,” she said.

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