Lena Dunham Has Endometriosis and Is Taking a Hiatus From Girls Season 5 Promotion

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"So many women with this disease literally don't have the option of time off and I won't take it for granted." Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Glamour
"So many women with this disease literally don't have the option of time off and I won't take it for granted." Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Glamour

Girls is back for its fifth season on February 21, but for now, the show’s creator and champion Hillary for America supporter Lena Dunham is taking a break. Dunham posted on Instagram that her endometriosis — a chronic condition  in which tissue that normally inside grows the uterus grows outside of it — has caused her to temporarily slow down from her go-getter life.

“Hey Beloved Pals, I just wanted to let you know that, while I am so excited for Girls to return on Feb 21, I won’t be out and about doing press for the new season. As many of you know I have endometriosis, a chronic condition that affects approximately 1 in 10 women’s reproductive health. I am currently going through a rough patch with the illness and my body (along with my amazing doctors) let me know, in no uncertain terms, that it’s time to rest. That’s a hard thing to do, but I’m trying, because all I want is to make season 6 of Girls the best one yet. I’m lucky enough to have support and backup from Jenni, Judd and the whole Girls gang. So many women with this disease literally don’t have the option of time off and I won’t take it for granted.
Wishing you all health & happiness, in whatever form suits you.”

Dunham has written about her chronic pain before, in a November essay in Lenny Letter, where she described the intense cramplike symptoms:

“The stomachaches began quickly and were more severe than the mild-irritant cramps seemed to be for the blonde women in pink-hued Midol commercials.”

Singer Halsey has also opened up about her struggles with the disease, tweeting out her empathy to her followers:

Endometriosis affects 5 million women in the U.S., according to the Office on Women’s Health, and it is often misdiagnosed as “bad cramps.” Thanks to Dunham and company, fewer women have to deal with the condition alone.