Lena Dunham opened up about her unsuccessful IVF journey in a candid essay for Harper’s Magazine. The Girls creator wrote: “I learned that none of my eggs were viable on Memorial Day in the midst of a global pandemic. 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.”
He told the 34-year-old: “We were unable to fertilize any of your eggs.” Despite having six eggs retrieved, “five did not take and the one that did seemed to have chromosomal issues.”
The director wrote, “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.”
Dunham tried other methods of conception too. “What started as wanting to carry the child of the man I loved became wanting to have a child with a man who was willing to help me have one,” she wrote, referencing her breakup with Jack Antonoff in January 2018. “Soon that became hiring a lawyer to draft a contract for a sperm-donor friend and calling a surrogate who came highly recommended by another celebrity. I was forced to admit just how much of it was about finishing what I started. I tried to have a child. Along the way, my body broke. My relationship did, too.”
The Golden Globe winner continued: “I had lost my way, and a half-dozen eggs sitting in Midtown promised to lead me home. Instead, each step took the process further from my body, my family, my reality. Each move was more expensive, more desperate, more lonely. I stopped being able to picture the ending.”
Dunham had a hysterectomy in 2018 in an attempt to contend with her endometriosis.
She ended her essay on a hopeful note: “The irony is that knowing I cannot have a child—my ability to accept that and move on—may be the only reason I deserve to be anyone’s parent at all. I think I finally have something to teach somebody.”