Lena Dunham opens up about infertility and hysterectomy

Last Modified: 9th Sep

Girls creator Lena Dunham has opened up about her struggle to have biological kids, hysterectomy amid opioid addiction, and pandemic.

In a new essay, she recounts her failed attempt to have a child via Vitro fertilization and surrogacy. The 34-year-old author and comedian had her uterus, cervix, and one of her ovaries removed due to endometriosis and other chronic health problems.

“It turned out that after everything I’d been through—the chemical menopause, surgeries by the dozen, the carelessness of drug addiction—my one remaining ovary was still producing eggs,” she wrote in the article, this is due to be featured in Harper’s magazine’s 2020 issue, “If we successfully harvested them, they might be fertilized with donor sperm and carried to term by a surrogate.”

Dunham had gone to rehab for her opioid addiction following her hysterectomy. Her hope of welcoming her own child was shattered again after she learned that her eggs were not viable.

“I learned that none of my eggs were viable on Memorial Day, in the midst of a global pandemic. When [the doctor] spoke my name with that sympathetic downturn, the apologetic-doctor voice I have come to know so well, my face crumpled in apprehension.” Lena Dunham wrote.

The doctors explained that out of six eggs, five were unable to be fertilized while the sixth had chromosomal issues – meaning all her frozen eggs were no viable and had failed to fertilize.

“I was wiping my eyes and thanking him again and again,” Dunham, who always dreamed of having children, wrote. “In my head, I was already telling my parents. The only comfort for this failure of biology was biology, the inherent understanding of the people who made me.”

Lena Dunham (Image: Cosmopolitan)

“When I was a little girl…I had already made every egg I was ever going to have. They were inside me, destined to fail. I just didn’t know it yet. I was another cocky woman-to-be, sure that I would have what I wanted because I wanted it. Because I had always gotten it. Because the world told me it was mine to take.” she continued to write.

“I tried to have a child. Along the way, my body broke. My relationship did, too. In the process—because of it?—I became a functional junkie. I had lost my way, and a half-dozen eggs sitting in Midtown promised to lead me home. Each move was more expensive, more desperate, more lonely. I stopped being able to picture the ending.” Dunham shared her heart-wrenching story.

Short Bio

Lena Dunham was born on May 13, 1986, in New York City, U.S.A. Her father Carroll Dunham worked as a painter and her mother Laurie Simmons worked as an artist, photographer, and member of The Pictures Generation...Full Bio

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