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Marsai Martin Suffered ‘Debilitating Pain’ Before Having Ovarian Cyst Removed


Marsai Martin is getting candid about the pain she experienced before having an ovarian cyst removed.

The Black-ish alum, who initially discussed her experience in an Instagram Live in December, detailed her pain leading up to the diagnosis and her decision to undergo surgery to remove the cyst in an op-ed published last month in Women’s Health.

“I wanted to share my experience so that other women wouldn’t suffer in silence,” the 18-year-old actress wrote. “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.”

“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,” she added.

She explained that she had a scan done when she was 14 years old, after her “symptoms got really bad.” The scan showed that she had a cyst “that was 9.5 centimeters in diameter,” which her doctor compared to the size of “a small grapefruit.”

Marsai Martin

Martin wrote that she had been referred to a gynecologist who prescribed pain medication to help her “feel better.” However, she said the “pain eventually progressed to the point where anything that went down — water, food, medication — would come back up.”

It came to the point where she had to decide if she wanted to take birth control pills to see if it would help manage the symptoms from the cyst or get it surgically removed. She said in her op-ed that she ultimately decided to have it removed and scheduled the surgery for December.


“I was so scared in the weeks leading up–it was the only thing I could think about,” Martin said. “I have major anxiety, and I didn’t know how my body would react to the surgery and anesthesia. I’d never even been in a hospital for longer than a few hours. But as I waited for my surgery date, I still got my period each month. And despite my fears, every month I just kept thinking, ‘I can’t wait for this pain to be over.’ “

Marsai Martin said the symptoms she experiences from her periods “are way better” following the surgery, though she still has “mild cramps” which can be helped with medication.

She said that she wanted to tell her story to encourage other women to listen to their bodies and speak up if they think something is wrong.

“I hope my story will encourage other women to not accept a life of pain, to get a second opinion,” she said. “Pain is not normal. I want other women to talk about their pain, and to keep speaking out until they are taken seriously. And to the women out there suffering silently right now: You owe it to yourself to speak up.”


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