Lena Dunham's Podcast From the Hospital Sheds New Light on Endometriosis

Among the many aspects of her life Lena Dunham is extremely open about, her struggle with endometriosis is perhaps one of the most important.

According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, the condition "occurs when tissue similar to the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) is found outside the uterus on other parts of the body." It can cause pain, longer and heavier periods, pain during sex, and even infertility.

This week on Dunham's podcast Women of the Hour, she reveals the episode was recorded from her hospital bed at Lennox Hill Emergency Room, after being hospitalized for endo-related issues.

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

Dunham says she coerced her podcast producer to accompany her to the hospital, in order to show listeners the reality of the condition.

She explains:

"I’ve been hurting more and more. 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."

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

Dunham also spoke honestly about the treatments for endometriosis and the affect they can have on the body.

She describes her experience taking morphine, saying, "The pain’s gone, and it’s not replaced with lack of pain, it’s replaced with lack of giving a s— about anything."

This kind of candor is rarely heard when it comes to reproductive conditions, but with 176 million women affected worldwide (and one in 10 girls and women affected in the U.S.), it's clearly a widespread issue that deserves attention.

Dunham understands that her position as a public figure is crucial to spreading awareness about the condition, but also that her words come from a place of privilege.

"As a public person I know I’m taking on a certain amount of hate and I armor myself...But I can’t help but wonder how people without the same resources have learned to cope."