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Lena Dunham Penned An Essay About Undergoing A Hysterectomy at 31 & It’s Powerful

Girls actress and writer Lena Dunham recently revealed that she had undergone hysterectomy surgery, in an essay she wrote for the March issue of Vogue

Dunham has been very vocal and candid about her struggles with endometriosis, a condition that affects one in 10 women of reproductive age, with countless others who struggle to receive a confirmed diagnosis. 

The symptoms that can accompany endometriosis are numerous and Dunham has suffered for years with constant chronic pain because of it. 

In her essay, she details the entire experience of receiving such a life-changing and frightening procedure for a woman who is only in her early thirties. 

With her signature dry wit and unflinching attitude towards uncomfortable subjects, she details her once strong wishes to become pregnant but recognized that she felt something was fundamentally wrong with her uterus. 

Tired of unbearable pain and not receiving any conclusive answers, Dunham ultimately made the decision to go through with the surgery. 

She includes an excerpt from a 1000-word essay she wrote to her doctor on why she was ready to let go of her uterus before she turned 32.

“I know that a hysterectomy isn’t the right choice for everyone,” Dunham wrote. “that it’s not a guarantee that this pain will disappear, and that you are performing it due to your deeply held, essential and—to my mind—feminist belief that women should be able to make a choice about how they want to spend their childbearing years.”

Dunham’s essay is a moving testament to what women all over the world experience because of chronic pain. She concludes her piece on a sense of mourning over what she’s lost but says she feels hopeful about her healing process 

“I might not believe it now, but I will soon enough. And all that will be left is my story and my scars, which are already faded enough that they’re hard to find.”

Read the essay here.

Emily Waitson

Wilfrid Laurier '20

Emily is a twenty-something fourth-year student majoring in English and History. She has a passion for writing, internet-famous cats, and sappy books.
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