Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank has filed a lawsuit against the trustees of her health plan because they denied covering treatment for her ovarian cysts.
In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, the 46-year-old actress said the trustees of the SAG-AFRA health plan “stopped allowing [her] claims for treatment of ovarian cysts” in 2015.
Swank received the diagnosis of ovarian cysts in 2008 and around the same time, her left ovary was destroyed, for which, she had to undergo emergency surgery.
Furthermore, the documents revealed that in 2015, Swank was “undergoing procedures to preserve her ability to conceive in the future.”
The Million Dollar Baby actress addressed the matter on Instagram, writing that she was “truly exhausted by the way women’s ovarian and cyclical health issues continue to be treated by health care insurance companies.”
“Their policies are antiquated, barbaric, and primarily view the role of women’s organs solely as a means for procreation,” she added.
Swan has been doing well, although she did not reveal the type of ovarian cyst she had. She also did not specify how the condition has been affecting her health.
Many women have ovarian cysts at some point but most of them are harmless and might even go undetected or disappear spontaneously.
Dr. Anita Sit of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, California, told Health, “An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled growth within or on the surface of the ovary, and there are various types.”
In some cases, a ruptured ovarian cyst becomes an emergency, especially if the cyst is infected. Dr. Sit explained that most ovarian cysts are not life-threatening but acute care is required if the cyst is twisting inside the abdomen.
“This twisting (called ovarian torsion) is confirmed by ultrasound,” Dr. Sit added. “Sometimes, it may warrant emergent surgery to restore blood flow.”
Swank’s experience has inspired her to help people to change things for the better. She said she hopes to be “a voice” for everyone suffering from women’s health issues and battling with health insurance companies for the coverage and medical care they need. She wrote, “It’s time we are treated fairly.”