Pretty Little Liars star Janel Parrish reveals endometriosis diagnosis that led to surgery

‘There is so little information out there,’ the actor said

Lydia Spencer-Elliott
Wednesday 10 July 2024 12:31 BST
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Janel Parrish has opened up about her endometriosis diagnosis, which led to her having surgery to remove cysts and scar tissue.

Endometriosis occurs when cells similar to the ones in the uterus lining grow outside the uterus. These lesions bleed (like what happens within the uterus during a period), but because the blood can’t escape, it can cause inflammation and scar tissue (adhesions) to form, as well as cysts.

The Pretty Little Liars actress, 35, took to social media to share details of her operation to help raise awareness and give strength to other women suffering with the commonly left undiagnosed condition.

Writing to her 10.7 million followers on her Instagram story on Tuesday (9 July), Parrish said: “I usually keep my private life private. But I wanted to share this if it can help other women suffering to know they’re not alone.”

Alongside a selfie of her in a hospital gown giving the camera a thumbs up, the actor continued: “After months of excruciating pain and not knowing why, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis and underwent surgery to remove cysts and scar tissue as a result of the disease.”

It takes an average of seven-and-a-half years after first seeing a doctor about symptoms for someone to get a proper endometriosis diagnosis. Lots of factors play into this – including the fact the condition is associated with painful, heavy periods, which people are often taught is just “normal”, according to Endometriosis UK.

Parrish continued: “To my Endo sisters, there is so little information out there about this and there is no cure. So, it is easy for us to feel helpless, scared and alone. Seeing other women posting about their experiences made ME feel stronger.”

Janel Parrish has opened up about her endometriosis diagnosis that led to surgery
Janel Parrish has opened up about her endometriosis diagnosis that led to surgery (Instagram @janelparrish)

She signed off: “I hope this helps to keep the conversation about Endo open and flowing, so we can raise awareness and lift each other up. We ARE strong and we got this. I got you.”

In severe cases of endometriosis, cells outside of the womb lining can be widespread, affecting other organs and tissues throughout the body.

Infertility is also associated with the condition, and lots of people with endometriosis also have adenomyosis – where the endometrial tissue grows inside the uterus wall.

The ‘Pretty Little Liars’ actress shared details of her operation with fans on Instagram
The ‘Pretty Little Liars’ actress shared details of her operation with fans on Instagram (Instagram @janelparrish)

Other stars have previously spoken out about their experience of the condition. Back in March, former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo revealed her symptoms were dismissed by 12 doctors before she received her diagnosis.

“The debilitating pain happened and continued to progress as I got older and that’s when it really started to affect my day-to-day life where I really could not function,” she said.

“It was the worst pain I’ve ever been in in my entire life.”

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