Endometriosis forces Lena Dunham to take time out ahead of ‘Girls’ Season 6

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Kelly Lawler

Lena Dunham has said in the past she hopes for “a future in which the pain of teenage girls is fully investigated, taken as seriously as a broken leg.”

Lena Dunham is taking a break.

The writer/producer/actress, 29, announced to her fans Monday that she will not be doing press in the run up to the fifth season of her HBO show, Girls, because she needs to take time off for health reasons.

“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 wrote on her Facebook page. “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,” she continued. “I’m lucky enough to have support and backup from (showrunner Jenni Konner), (producer 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.”

Dunham has previously opened up about living with endometriosis in a post in her newsletter, Lenny Letter, called “The Sickest Girl.” In the post she detailed her history with the condition, long road to diagnosis and eventual surgery.

“Long-term chronic infection. I carried the words around with me like an award statuette, flashing them at every friend who had ever complained about my phantom illness and general inability to party like a rock star,” she wrote. “I apologized for all the weddings and birthdays I had missed, but it wasn’t really an apology: it was a battle cry. I no longer felt like a weakling. I felt like a survivor. … And I am no longer scared of my body. In fact, I listen to it when it speaks. I have no choice but to respect what it tells me, to respect the strength of its voice and the truth of my own.”

Dunham’s show, Girls is slated to return to HBO for its fifth season on Feb. 21.

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