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Lena Dunham Reveals She Had a Hysterectomy to Stop Pain From Endometriosis

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Updated: | Originally published: ;

Lena Dunham said she underwent a total hysterectomy — the surgical removal of the cervix and uterus — in an attempt to ease the pain caused by endometriosis.

In an essay for the March issue of Vogue, which was excerpted by the Endometriosis Foundation of America, the Girls creator said she had the surgery to address chronic pain from endometriosis, which occurs when the tissue that lines the inside of a woman’s uterus grows in places outside the uterus.

Dunham, 31, has been open in the past about her struggle with the condition, which affects about 176 million women across the globe. Dunham wrote in her essay that she elected to have a hysterectomy after “years of complex surgeries measuring in the double digits” and alternative treatments, including yoga, acupuncture and massage therapy.

CNN reports that Dunham had to convince doctors that she wanted to have the surgery, which will make her unable to bear children. But Dunham, who said she always wanted to have children, wrote that she’ll now consider surrogacy or adoption.

“I may have felt choiceless before, but I know I have choices now,” Dunham wrote. “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.”

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Write to Samantha Cooney at samantha.cooney@time.com