Lena Dunham is taking some time off for an important health reason

Lena Dunham, writer, director, actress, author, podcaster — did we forget anything? — posted a photo on Instagram last night that’s got a lot of people talking. While the Girls creator has never shied away from personal topics, this one is particularly close to the heart: she suffers from endometriosis, and because of that, she won’t be able to do press for the upcoming season.

Endometriosis, as Lena writes in her Instagram post, is a reproductive issue that affects around 10% of women. Specifically, it’s what happens when tissue inside the uterus is found on the outside, often developing into growths or lesions that, during a person’s menstrual cycle, reacts the same way as the uterine lining. It’s painful and uncomfortable, especially when you lead as hectic of a life as Lena.

However, Lena also acknowledges that it’s a privilege for her to be able halt work in order to take care of herself. Many women don’t have that option, and have to continue their everyday lives while struggling with their endometriosis behind the scenes.

While Lena’s post is first and foremost an announcement, it’s also done the important work of continuing to keep women’s reproductive health front and center in our conversations.

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