Lena Dunham gets painfully real on her podcast about the struggles of living with endometriosis

Although an insane five to ten percent of women of reproductive age suffer from endometriosis, many people, including us, don’t know that much about it. Girls creator and star Lena Dunham has mentioned previously that she suffers from the debilitating disorder, and now she’s opening up even more about her struggles — as well as her recent stints in the hospital. How awful.

On her podcast, Women of the Hour, Lena explains:

“This is my fourth time in the last three-and-a-half months being in the Lennox Hill Emergency Room. Third time for ovarian troubles: once was a broken radial head elbow fracture caused by tripping over a flip flop. But this is my fourth time and I spend a lot of time in this emergency room.”

We can’t imagine!

For those of us who don’t know, according to the Endometriosis Association, endometriosis is a pelvic condition that involves tissue growing on places outside of one’s uterus, such as on the ovaries. Similar to the way the uterine lining builds up and is eventually shed, the tissue that grows outside of the uterus also needs to get out, but doesn’t really have anywhere to go. This causes A TON of pain.

Lena, who is no stranger to this excruciating pain, decided to take her podcast producer along to the hospital, because she felt that it would help in getting the word out about her experiences.

“I’ve been hurting more and more,” Lena explains about her most recent trip to the ER. “I started antibiotics, didn’t do anything, and the pain in my back and my pelvis has become overwhelming and so I’m here to figure out if I have an ovarian cyst or some other kind of ovarian issue that’s causing the continuous pain that is draining me of my life force.”

And we thought normal periods were bad!

Earlier last year, Lena had to take some time off of her Girls press tour because of her condition and ended up in the hospital with a ruptured ovarian cyst in the summer. But we’re glad she’s listening to her body and taking care of herself. She said in an issue of her e-newsletter Lenny Letter in 2015, “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 hope you feel better, Lena. We’re glad you’re staying strong!

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