Lena Dunham recently revealed that she underwent IVF treatments, but "none of my eggs were viable." In a very candid new essay for Harper's Magazine, the actress and filmmaker shared her journey through the process, which she began in the hopes of one day carrying a child. "I learned that none of my eggs were viable on Memorial Day, in the midst of a global pandemic," she writes in the essay. "I was in Los Angeles when I got the call from Dr. Coperman, the slight Jewish man who was my entry into (and now exit from) the world of corporate reproduction."
Dunham then went on to share some of what her doctor shared when giving her the heartbreaking news, "As you know, we had six. Five did not take. The one that did seems to have chromosomal issues and ultimately..." At this point, Dunham says she simply could not any longer focus on what the doctor was saying. "He trailed off as I tried to picture it — the dark room, the glowing dish, the sperm meeting my dusty eggs so violently that they combusted. It was hard to understand that they were gone."
I wrote this piece for the many women who have been failed by their own biology, but who have been further failed by society’s inability to imagine another role for them outside of mother. @Harpers https://t.co/vpok8B504Z— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) November 16, 2020
Speaking to PEOPLE about what she experienced, Dunham shared, "This journey has forced me to rethink what motherhood will look like." She also stated that "IVF destroyed my body." Dunham continued, "As a woman who tends towards rampant endometriosis, filling my body with estrogen ... and because of what my body has been through, subjecting it to such excruciating pain, only to come to the end and learn those eggs were not viable after working so hard through illness and discomfort and going through anxiety and depression, it is just clearly not something I can ever repeat."
The Girls star went on to say, "I think women often have a keen instinct about what is happening with their own bodies — and I had an instinct that it probably wouldn't work." She added, "I had hopes it would, but to be honest, I'd already made my peace about becoming an adoptive mother. But then when everyone got so excited about there being this possibility that my one ovary could produce eggs, and with IVF and surrogacy, I could maybe still have a biological child, it pulled me away from what I think I already instinctively knew."