Lena Dunham revealed that she made the brave decision to undergo a hysterectomy to finally end the pain she suffered from endometriosis. We’ve got 5 things to know about the procedure.
Having a full hysterectomy at age 31 had to be a really big decision for actress Lena Dunham. She revealed on Feb. 13 that she underwent the procedure after suffering for years from horrible pain caused by endometriosis. She told Vogue Magazine that she had the surgery done several months ago because she was fed up with “years of complex surgeries measuring in the double digits” and alternative treatments that included “pelvic floor therapy, massage therapy, pain therapy, color therapy, acupuncture.” We’ve got five things to know about how a hysterectomy can end endometriosis pain.
1. Having one’s uterus removed usually results in pain relief, but not in all cases.
According to the University of Michigan School of Medicine, “Pain comes back in up to 15 out of 100 women who have this surgery. This means that in 85 out of 100 women who have surgery, the pain doesn’t come back.” So Lena will hopefully be in the majority of women whose pain is relieved.
2. Having a hysterectomy can bring on early menopause.
Without her uterus, Lena could have menopause symptoms come along that most women don’t go through until their early 50’s. She could end up experiencing hot flashes, vaginal dryness, depression and mood swings. Menopause also causes bone loss so she could risk early osteoporosis.
3. A hysterectomy can help relieve other painful issues.
According to Endometriosis News, the procedure can help relieve Lena of “uterine fibroids that cause pain, bleeding, or other problems, uterine prolapse, cancer of the uterus, cervix, abnormal vaginal bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, adenomyosis, or a thickening of the uterus.”
4. There is no cure for endometriosis.
While a hysterectomy can relieve pain from the disorder that causes tissue to build up on the outside of the uterus, there is no cure for endometriosis. There’s always a risk that the endometrial tissue could grow again.
5. Having a hysterectomy to eliminate endometriosis pain is a last resort decision.
A hysterectomy is a major invasive operation requiring several days of hospitalization and further recovery time. It’s considered that last option in trying to relieve pain from endometriosis.
We continue to wish Lena well and send her healing wishes during her trying time.