Lena Dunham knew something was wrong from her very first period.
In the eighth installment of the 29-year-old’s newsletter Lenny Letter, the Girls creator pens an intimate look into her painful struggle with what has now been diagnosed and treated as endometriosis — a disorder that causes the lining of the uterus to grow outside of the uterus.
This condition led to severe vaginal bleeding, nonstop cramps, exhaustion, mood swings, painful sex, among other health factors.
The actress revealed:
“From the first time I got my period, it didn’t feel right. The stomachaches began quickly and were more severe than the mild-irritant cramps seemed to be for the blonde women in pink-hued Midol commercials. Those might as well have been ads for yogurt or the ocean, that’s how little they conveyed my experience of menstruating.”
Doctors failed to diagnose the disorder all the way through production of the first season of Girls:
“If my pain had no tangible source, that just meant my mind was more powerful than I was and it didn’t want me to be happy, ever. I saw myself divided like a black-and-white cookie into neat halves: one bright and ambitious, the other destined to wind up strapped to a gurney and moaning for pain meds.”
Things took a turn for the better when Lena’s longtime friend Jenni Konner set her up with Dr. Randy Harris — who performed laparoscopic surgery to find the source of the symptoms. The diagnosis has made a world of difference for Miz Dunham:
“I am strong because of what I’ve dealt with. I am oddly fearless for a wimp with no upper-body strength. And I am no longer scared of my body. In fact, I listen to it when it speaks. I have no choice but to respect what it tells me, to respect the strength of its voice and the truth of my own.”
We are shocked it took that long for doctors to figure it out!
[Image via WENN.]