Even though a staggering 176 million women worldwide are affected by endometriosis, it often takes years and years of doctor visits, misdiagnoses and debilitating pain for anything to be done, or for a medical professional to even believe endometriosis is actually behind the symptoms.
To help raise awareness of the common but oft-ignored condition, Lena Dunham has dedicated this week's issue of her Lenny Letter to endometriosis. Not only does the issue shed light on how misunderstood the disease is, it also provides a platform for real women to get candid about their own struggles with endometriosis.
Dedicated to "every woman struggling with her reproductive health," the newsletter is incredibly powerful, and proves just how widespread, misconceived and painful — both physically and mentally — the condition is. Here are some highlights: