Dunham suffers from endometriosis, a painful disease in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of it. (Last year, she was rushed to the hospital from the 2017 Met Gala after complications from an endometriosis-related surgery.)
“In addition to endometrial disease,” Dunham writes in Vogue, “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. 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.”
The surgery means Dunham will be physically unable to carry children, but she says she plans to explore all options.
“I may have felt choiceless before, but I know I have choices now,” she writes. “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.”