Lena Dunham is taking a step back from her duties as the creator and star of her own show.
On Monday (Feb. 8), the Girls actress announced that she will not be partaking in any promotion for the upcoming fifth season of her HBO series. Writing on Instagram, the 29-year-old revealed that she has hit a “rough patch” in her longtime struggle with endometriosis.
“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,” she begins. “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.”
She continues, “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 [Konner], Judd [Apatow] 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.”
Last November, Dunham documented juggling between working and battling endometriosis in her Lenny Letter newsletter. Explaining that the illness is “when the tissue that lines the uterus grows in other places in the body,” she wrote that there were times she was bedridden and had been “bleeding from my vagina for almost 30 days.”
“Taking a low-dose pill on a regular schedule eased my symptoms immediately and tremendously, but a few days of every Girls season, I would come into work with that telltale stomach pain, nausea, and inability to move a muscle,” she penned, adding that her sex life had also started to suffer due to swelling and scarring caused by misplaced endometrial tissue.
According to Dunham, she underwent surgery laparoscopic surgery to diagnose her endometriosis and have since started monthly injections after experiencing a recurrence of symptoms associated with the disease again.
“I started Lupron: monthly injections that shut down the production of estrogen and therefore the proliferation of endometrial cells where they shouldn’t be. It’s a temporary menopause of sorts, and while it solves certain issues, others pop up like whack-a-moles,” she said. “I no longer felt a fist was unfurling in my uterus, but I did have zero ability to regulate my temperature, achy hip joints, and the emotional sensitivity of a drunk girl at prom. Life is a series of trade-offs, I suppose.”