Although Lena Dunham has made a name for herself through irreverent and controversial humor, her present health issues are no laughing matter. The 29-year-old creator of HBO’s offbeat hit show Girls was hospitalized on Saturday for treatment of a ruptured ovarian cyst, according to People Magazine. She will undergo surgery for the issue before she is released.
Dunham’s spokesperson, Cindi Berger, provided People with a statement regarding the celebrity’s health issues.
“Lena Dunham has been very public with her personal bouts with endometriosis. This morning, she suffered from an ovarian cyst rupture and has been taken to the hospital … Lena will be undergoing surgery at an undisclosed hospital. We thank you for you understanding and hope that Lena’s privacy will be respected.”
According to the Endometriosis Organization, a nonprofit endeavor that promotes awareness and research of the condition, endometriosis is a chronic condition that afflicts over 6 million women and girls in the United States. It occurs when “misplaced tissue” that is typically found in the uterus develops in other areas of the body, including the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Growth and discharge of the tissue can result in pain, scarring, and other symptoms.
Pop culture outlet E! Online noted that Lena Dunham has previously spoken about her struggles with endometriosis in candid detail, most notably through a lengthy post to her website, Lenny, late last year. In her essay, Dunham recounted a history of incomplete diagnoses and hit-or-miss treatments leading up to her ultimate diagnosis with the condition at the age of 24.
“Endometriosis is not life-threatening. It doesn’t manifest externally very often; the symptoms just look like a pair of sweatpants and a Charlize Theron–in–Monster–level grimace. I know I’m lucky in the grand health scheme, but I also know that I am one of many women who grasp for a sense of consistent well-being, fight against the betrayals of their bodies, and who are often met with skepticism by doctors trained to view painful periods as the lot of women who should learn to grin and bear it.”
The Endometriosis Organization indicates that treatment alternatives for the condition range from pain management to surgery. Laparoscopic surgery, which is generally the least invasive of surgery options, can be conducted on an outpatient basis and may be limited to the removal of problematic tissue. In more serious cases, a partial or complete hysterectomy – including the removal of the uterus and ovaries – might be necessary. A longer hospital stay is likely in the case of the aforementioned “radical surgery,” and complications can arise, as in any surgical procedure.
Earlier this month, Us Weekly Magazine reported that Lena Dunham had hinted that her difficulties with endometriosis were mounting, as she told fans via an Instagram post that she needed to rest rather than engage in promotional appearances for the forthcoming episodes of Girls. She thanked her colleagues for their support and expressed gratitude that she is at a point in her career that she can take time off to address her health issues.
Now in its fifth season, HBO’s Girls has developed a cult following, as well as critical acclaim, according to IMDb. In 2013, the show won a Golden Globe for Best Television Series and Lena Dunham herself has been nominated for Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series in 2014 and again in 2015.
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