News, Culture & Society

Lena Dunham, 36, questions what motherhood will look like for her – after undergoing a hysterectomy

Lena Dunham has questioned what motherhood will look like for her, after previously undergoing a total hysterectomy. 

The actress, 36, reflected on her recent role in comedy-drama Sharp Stick, in which she play’s a pregnant woman, adding that she is at a time in her life where there are ‘babies everywhere.’ 

Lena underwent a total hysterectomy in 2018 to remove her uterus and cervix after enduring years of endometriosis-related pain.

Candid: Lena Dunham, 36, has questioned what motherhood will look like for her on Wednesday, after previously undergoing a total hysterectomy

In an interview with WSJ. Magazine, she detailed how the film helped her explore the meaning of motherhood. 

Lena said: ‘I think the movie was a lot about motherhood and the different shapes motherhood could take and the questions I was asking myself about that. 

‘What is motherhood going to look like for me? What are my feelings about what motherhood’s supposed to look like versus what motherhood actually looks like?’

Complicated: The actress reflected on her role in Sharp Stick, in which she play's a pregnant woman, adding that she is at a time in her life where there are 'babies everywhere'

Complicated: The actress reflected on her role in Sharp Stick, in which she play’s a pregnant woman, adding that she is at a time in her life where there are ‘babies everywhere’

The star, who married musician Luis Felber in 2021, continued: ‘I’m firmly in that moment in my life where there are babies, babies everywhere.

‘So it was an exciting chance to ask myself some of those questions, while also having the kind of distance that comes from asking them through characters.’ 

Lena’s latest feature film Sharp Stick sees her play a pregnant wife whose husband is tangled in an affair with a ‘naive’ younger woman. 

Questions: Lena said: 'What is motherhood going to look like for me? What are my feelings about what motherhood’s supposed to look like versus what motherhood actually looks like?'

Questions: Lena said: ‘What is motherhood going to look like for me? What are my feelings about what motherhood’s supposed to look like versus what motherhood actually looks like?’

According to the official synopsis for Sharp Stick, the film follows ‘a naïve 26-year-old’ named Sarah Jo (played by The Society’s Kristine Froseth) who ‘longs to be seen’ as she lives life ‘on the fringes of Hollywood with her mother and sister.’

Sarah Jo’s world is turned upside down ‘when she begins an affair with her older employer’ Josh (played by The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal).

Lena previously said to Vogue, that her decision to have a hysterectomy came after ‘years of complex surgeries measuring in the double digits’ and trying alternative treatments such as ‘pelvic floor therapy, massage therapy, pain therapy, color therapy, acupuncture and yoga’. 

Sharp Stick: The film follows 'a naïve 26-year-old' named Sarah Jo (played by The Society's Kristine Froseth) who 'longs to be seen' as she lives life 'on the fringes of Hollywood

Sharp Stick: The film follows ‘a naïve 26-year-old’ named Sarah Jo (played by The Society’s Kristine Froseth) who ‘longs to be seen’ as she lives life ‘on the fringes of Hollywood

Doctors discovered she had other medical issues that were causing her pain during the procedure.

‘In addition to endometrial disease, an odd hump-like protrusion and a septum running down the middle, I have retrograde bleeding, a.k.a. my period running in reverse so that my stomach is full of blood,’ she wrote.

‘My ovary has settled in on the muscles around the sacral nerves in my back that allow us to walk. Let’s please not even talk about my uterine lining. The only beautiful detail is that the organ — which is meant to be shaped like a light bulb — was shaped like a heart.’ 

Earlier this year in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actress opened up about her desire to have a child within the next two years, being body shamed by women, and plans for a Girls reboot. 

Couple: The star, who married musician Luis Felber in 2021, continued: 'I'm firmly in that moment in my life where there are babies, babies everywhere' (pictured together last month)

Couple: The star, who married musician Luis Felber in 2021, continued: ‘I’m firmly in that moment in my life where there are babies, babies everywhere’ (pictured together last month)

‘I’ll be 36 this year,’ she told the publication. ‘I don’t feel like turning 38 without a child.’

She had her uterus, cervix, and an ovary removed but attempted IVF after learning her ‘one remaining ovary was still producing eggs,’ she previously recalled in a piece for Harper’s Magazine. 

The bid ended up being unsuccessful as none of the eggs ended up being viable.

‘There is a lot you can correct in life—you can end a relationship, get sober, get serious, say sorry—but you can’t force the universe to give you a baby that your body has told you all along was an impossibility,’ she said in the Harper’s article. 

Tough: Lena previously said to Vogue , that her decision to have a hysterectomy came after 'years of complex surgeries measuring in the double digits'

Tough: Lena previously said to Vogue , that her decision to have a hysterectomy came after ‘years of complex surgeries measuring in the double digits’

WHAT IS A HYSTERECTOMY?

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman’s uterus.

There are three kinds:

  • PARTIAL HYSTERECTOMY: Removes two-thirds of the uterus. 
  • TOTAL HYSTERECTOMY: Removes uterus and cervix.
  • RADICAL HYSTERECTOMY: Removes uterus, cervix and vagina.

The operation is most commonly performed on women between the ages of 40 and 49.

More than 20 million American women have had a hysterectomy, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As women approach menopause, the odds that they will develop one of several serious uterine health conditions increases. Doctors may recommend a hysterectomy as a treatment for:

  • fibroids 
  • endometriosis 
  • uterine (endometrial) cancer 
  • chronic uterine pain or bleeding 
  • collapsed uterus

In some cases, doctors may suggest a hysterectomy as a preventative measure if a woman has significant warning or early signs of developing one or more of these conditions.

When necessary, surgeons may also remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes, if these have also been damaged or are at serious risk of damage.

The removal of reproductive organs sends a woman’s body into menopause, no matter how old she is.

This comes with unpleasant side effects like hot flashes, and many women have to start hormone therapy, taking estrogen to balance out their own hormones.  

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk