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Health & Wellbeing / Rebecca Martin

Why It’s Totally Fine To Take Time Off Work For Endometriosis

The legend that is Lena Dunham did something incredible this week.

Never one to shy away from speaking her mind, the brilliantly talented yet controversial actress did the unthinkable – she announced that she would be taking time off work – because of crippling endometriosis.

At Pink Parcel, we’re happy to openly talk about periods, but many, particularly those that grace the red carpet – are not. Lena however, bravely took to her Instagram account to broadcast the fact that she would be pulling out of the Girls season six promotional tour, to take care of her health. Her bold statement has generated mixed opinions, but most importantly, she’s taken a seriously important issue and given it its moment in the spotlight. The headlines it truly deserves.

She said: “Hey Beloved Pals, 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. 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. I’m lucky enough to have support and backup from Jenni, Judd 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.

“Wishing you all health & happiness, in whatever form suits you. Back soon, xxLena.”

An estimated 176 million women across the globe suffer with endometriosis, and more often than not, it goes undiagnosed. Lena herself wrote a candid article for Lenny about the illness back in November. She talked about her battle with the symptoms – abnormal bleeding and chronic pain are just a couple of the most talked-about.

We receive dozens of emails from subscribers who suffer terribly with endometriosis. Not just this condition, but extremely painful periods that affect their quality of life, without fail, every month.

Lena has opened a dialogue that’s often difficult to talk about. Endometriosis. Periods. Sick leave. Women’s health. Most of us are unable to easily take time off work, especially when it comes to periods. Have you ever been refused time off during your time of the month? Do you feel guilty when you have to?

Lena says that she won’t be taking her sick leave for granted – but we also don’t think she should feel guilt or shame for it – and she certainly shouldn’t apologise for it.

Lena, we applaud you. Feel better soon…

If you haven’t signed up to Pink Parcel yet, it’s time to start enjoying your period! Subscribe here and you’ll have everything you need (and want) sent directly to your door.


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