Marsai Martin pens an essay about her grapefruit-sized ovarian cyst removal: ‘Pain is not normal’

In a new article, the young actress is spreading awareness after a second opinion led to the discovery of an ovarian cyst. 

Marsai Martin is a proponent of getting a second opinion regarding one’s health. 

After revealing to fans on social media in December about the discovery of a grapefruit-sized ovarian cyst, the actress opened up further about the experience in a recent essay she penned for Women’s Health.

Marsai Martin ovarian cysts Black women's health and wellness
Marsai Martin attends the 2023 BET Her Awards at Thompson Buckhead on March 5, 2023, in Atlanta. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

In the piece, Martin said she wanted to share her experience so other women wouldn’t suffer in silence. 

“Before my diagnosis, I thought the crippling period pain and severe nausea I went through each month during my cycle was normal. So, I resisted going to the ER for my period pain for years,” she wrote, adding, “And if I hadn’t sought out help, I probably would have continued trying to tough it out. I would have continued to go through intense, debilitating pain every month during my period.” 

Martin said the cyst, a little under 10 centimeters in diameter, was discovered during a scan when she was 17 years old after the symptoms became severe. Initially, Martin said her primary care physician referred her to a gynecologist who prescribed her pain medication that she claimed: “worked for a while.” 

“But my pain eventually progressed to the point where anything that went down — water, food, medication — would come back up. My family kept asking if I wanted to go to the ER, and I always said no,” she wrote. 

After doctors discovered the cyst, Martin had to choose between taking birth control pills to alleviate the symptoms potentially or having it surgically removed. Despite her fear and anxiety, Martin decided to undergo surgery.

Since her procedure, Martin said, while “not perfect,” her cycles are “way better.” She also said sharing her story on social media has connected her to many girls and women sharing similar experiences. She has received “a ton” of responses, posts to blogs and major outlets continue to cover her story.

“I hope my story will encourage other women to not accept a life of pain, to get a second opinion. Pain is not normal,” she wrote.

The National Institutes of Health consider ovarian cysts common, with roughly 10 out of 100 women diagnosed. They are usually benign, and treatment usually isn’t needed.

“Women out there suffering silently right now: You owe it to yourself to speak up,” Martin concluded. 

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