Celebrities With PCOS and How They Beat it
A PCOS diagnosis has brought pain and sadness to many women, including many you may admire or aspire to be like; because PCOS does not discriminate. There are many celebrities with PCOS, who have been left battling for their health and happiness.
I know PCOS can make you feel lonely, angry and sad all at once.
But it shouldn't.
You are not alone and you shouldn't let your PCOS diagnosis take away from who you are.
Today, I want to share with you the stories of glamorous and powerful celebrities who have PCOS and how they beat their PCOS and pregnancy struggles. Their stories are an inspiration, reminding us that we too can overcome our condition and live our best life too!
Jillian Michaels is a personal trainer, television personality, author and businesswomen based in Los Angeles, California. At 5 feet 2 ½ inches tall and with a bodyweight of 52.16kg, Jillian doesn't meet the criteria of your stereotypical woman suffering from PCOS. She is lean and fit. But women with PCOS are not always overweight, they can be lean too!
However, Jillian did not always have the lean and ‘toned’ body many women dream of having.
Where it All Began
Her parent's divorce resulted in her gaining weight and reaching her heaviest of 175 pounds at the age of 12. Matters became worse for Jillian as she would often be teased and bullied at school about her weight, resulting in her losing confidence.
At the age of 14, Jillian gained control of her weight when her mother signed her up for martial arts classes. Jillian explains how martial arts taught her how to respect and redefine herself.
Jillian started training in the gym at seventeen years old, she used fitness as a form of escapism from her struggles. But fitness soon became a huge part of her life. Jillian wanted to positively impact the lives of others and therefore became a fitness trainer at university. Her client’s progress motivated and pushed her even more to achieve her goals.
Her Rise To Fame
In 2004 Jillian received her big break. She became a fitness trainer and strength coach on the TV show ‘The Biggest Loser.’ Her appearance on the show made her a household name and a recognized figure in the fitness industry. With her newfound fame, Jillian was able to impact people’s lives on a greater scale, releasing fitness DVD’s and books.
Jillian Michaels PCOS Story
PCOS and PregnancyJillian has openly spoken about her PCOS and pregnancy struggle when questioned about having children. During an interview, Jillian said she wanted to adopt rather than conceive. When prompted further on why she wanted to adopt, Jillian explained she could not handle doing that to her body.
The media published a story which made it seem like Jillian did not want to give birth because of the effects it will have on her body image. But this wasn't true. Jillian later explained her reluctance was because she would have to take medications and undergo medical treatment to help her have a PCOS pregnancy. Jillian said this was not a process she was ready for.
In May 2012 Jillian adopted her then two-year-old daughter from Haiti and within the same month her ex-fiancé Heidi Rhoades gave birth to their son.
PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women, however, as you will see throughout this post, a PCOS pregnancy is still possible. There are celebrities with PCOS such as Victoria Beckham, businesswoman and fashion designer. Who have overcome the PCOS and pregnancy struggle.
After giving birth to 3 boys, David and Victoria were eager to have a daughter. But here is where PCOS posed problems for the couple.
Victoria Beckham PCOS Story
Getting pregnant with PCOS after 30
After a routine check-up, Victoria’s doctor explained how her ability to have children had decreased since giving birth to her first child. A source from Now magazine revealed Victoria’s struggle to conceive a fourth time was because of her PCOS and irregular periods.
Victoria tried to gain weight hoping it would help PCOS and pregnancy. Low body fat or being underweight can cause an irregular menstrual cycle and thus reducing the chances of becoming pregnant.
How Victoria Beat PCOS
Victoria's diet was healthy, full of fresh fruit and vegetables, to maintain her slender figure. However, to help regulate her period, Victoria included more nutrient dense carbohydrate foods.
An adequate amount of good carbs is important for your menstrual cycle.
Despite her PCOS, irregular periods and the decreased likelihood of getting pregnant with PCOS after 30, Victoria successfully gave birth to Harper in 2011 at the age of 36.
Simone Ormesher shot to fame after appearing as a contestant on the reality TV show ‘The Bachelor’ in 2017. The reality TV star shared her struggle with PCOS and the importance of raising awareness.
Simone Ormesher PCOS Story
A PCOS diagnosis brings with it various symptoms which Simone openly shares on her social media. Simone describes how she suffers from severe cramping, skin breakouts, bloating, irregular periods, anxiety and mood swings all of which affect her self-confidence.
Simone posts candid photos on her Instagram showing just how severe her PCOS bloating can be. In one Instagram caption, she explains how she had been suffering from extreme bloating for three weeks which had left her in severe pain.
How Simone Beat PCOS
In an Instagram post, Simone says she follows a healthy lifestyle, which involves following a whole food diet and exercising regularly. But she also surrounds herself with positive and supportive people.
She also states when she does not feel like exercising, such as on days where she feels really bloated and has no energy, she makes an effort to work out. She says, “Even though going to the gym does not help my stomach size, it does help my mind and when I leave any type of workout I feel better within myself.”
“‘So get up, go for a workout or even a walk – anything is better than nothing.”
Learn to Love Yourself
Simone believes in the importance of speaking about PCOS and creating a community of women who are supportive. She also stresses the importance of loving yourself and not comparing yourself to women on Instagram.
Simone is trying to show how social media is often a highlight reel where people are taking photos in the best lighting, the right angle and which have been edited. She makes clear everyone has a story and is struggling with something.
Dame Emma Thompson
Dame Emma Thompson DBE is an actress, screenwriter, author, activist, and comedienne. She is one of Britain’s most admired actresses who sadly endured years of agony and grief while on her journey to become a mother.
Dame Emma Thompson PCOS Story
Infertility and the Birth of Gaia
Dame Emma sadly suffered two miscarriages. The first in 1994 during her marriage with her ex-husband Kenneth Branagh. The second in the early years of her relationship with her current husband Greg Wise in 1997.
Speaking about one's struggles is never easy, but Dame Emma has openly spoken about her battle with infertility and depression.
Getting pregnant with PCOS after 30 may pose some difficulty, but Dame Emma and her husband Greg didn't give up and decided to undergo in-vitro fertility (IVF). The couple successfully conceived with IVF and Gaia was born in 1999 leaving Dame Emma, close to 40 years old at the time, filled with joy.
Following Gaia’s birth, Dame Emma embarked on more treatment for a second child. She endured three more painful years of IVF. Unfortunately, IVF treatment proved unsuccessful for the couple the second time around.
The failed IVF treatment was a blow to Dame Emma and proved very difficult to overcome. The actress explains she would blame herself, and no one could persuade her otherwise, later resulting in her falling into depression.
More Love to Give
After being told she cannot have any more children, Dame Emma made a promise to herself to do things she could not do if she were pregnant.
Her mission was to have a positive impact and support people in Africa who are less privileged. The desire to participate in Action Aid charity work in Africa was a driving force which enabled her to beat depression.
Despite Dame Emma's inability to have more children, she believed she had more love to give. While attending a party, organized by the Refugee Council, Dame Emma met Tindyebwa (a.k.a. Tindy). Tindy’s heart-breaking story led Dame Emma and Greg to adopt him and make him part of their family.
Sasha Pieterse Sheaffer is a South African-born American actress and singer-songwriter. Through sharing her story, she hopes it will shed light on PCOS, a common yet overlooked condition.
Sasha Pieterse PCOS Story
A downside to being a celebrity in the public eye is the gossip and negative comments. Unfortunately, celebrities with PCOS like Sasha, have been made to feel awful about their weight.
During her appearance on the show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in 2017, viewers commented on Sasha Pieterse weight gain and the media ran headlines like 'Sasha Pieterse Pregnant'. After receiving frequent abusive and upsetting comments, Sasha opened up about her body image and her struggle with PCOS.
Sasha Pieterse Weight Gain
The actress explained she was left baffled on matters surrounding her health and was unaware of what was causing her to gain weight.
Sasha visited several doctors for answers and support, but they all said everything was fine.
But deep down Sasha knew something was wrong. The weight wasn’t coming off and she was starting to lose her confidence.
Sasha Pieterse weight gain was the result of her PCOS and once she realized this she was able to make the necessary changes to overcome it.
How Sasha Beat her PCOS
Sasha manages her PCOS through diet and exercise. She follows a healthy lifestyle, eats healthy and exercises 4-5 times a week. While on the show, Dancing With the Stars, Sasha revealed she lost 37 pounds.
Jools Oliver is the wife of English Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver and a former model.
Becoming a mother was Jools biggest desire. Unfortunately, PCOS didn’t make conceiving easy.
Jools Oliver PCOS Story
In an interview with The Telegraph Jools explained that she knew she would struggle with fertility because of her irregular periods. Jools has been struggling with irregular periods since the age of sixteen, which her Doctor later confirmed was because of PCOS.
Getting Pregnant with PCOS
In 2000 Jamie made Jools his Personal Assistant (PA). Jools decided to be creative and schedule “fertility meetings” into Jamie’s schedule. She created a giant wall chart highlighting Jamie’s meetings and appointments, accompanied with Jools fertile days labeled and marked in a red felt tip.
However, the couple sadly realized their scheduled private “fertility meetings” were not resulting in anything. After coming to terms with their fertility struggles, Jools and Jamie decided to seek professional help.
Her GP referred her to Doctor Geoffrey Trew, a fertility doctor. Dr. Trew believed there must be a medical hiccup which may be hindering the couple’s ability to conceive. Jools believed it was because of her PCOS. However, Dr. Trew suggested both Jools and Jamie undergo tests.
Jools undertook a blood test to check her hormone levels, a transvaginal ultrasound to look at the ovaries and womb, and a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), an X-ray to examine the functioning of the womb and health of the fallopian tubes. While Jamie undertook a sperm analysis.
The tests results revealed Jools hormones were normal, her hysterosalpingogram showed a normal uterine cavity but an obstruction at the end of both her fallopian tubes. A PCOS pregnancy was still possible for Jools. To boost her fertility she had to regulate her menstrual cycle.
How Jools Beat PCOS
PCOS Treatment to get Pregnant
To help Jools overcome her PCOS and pregnancy struggles she was prescribed a tablet called Provera to regulate her menstrual cycle. Provera is progesterone, a hormone naturally released during ovulation, in synthetic form. Once Jools regained a healthy menstrual cycle her Doctor prescribed a three month supply of Clomid. Doctors commonly prescribe Clomid for PCOS pregnancy because it is a drug used to stimulate ovulation.
The former model explains how she suffered from various side effects, including panic attacks, dizziness, and blurred vision while on Clomid. But continued despite the side effects.
PCOS Pregnancy Success
Finally, the news they had been waiting for arrived, Jools was pregnant! The PCOS treatment Jools received was successful and she had a PCOS pregnancy. Jools gave birth to her first child Poppy in March 2002. Daisy, the couple's second child was conceived naturally and was born in 2003.
Jools and Jamie then decided to wait a while before trying for their third child. Unfortunately, Jools PCOS and pregnancy woes came back when her periods stopped, resulting in her resorting back to Clomid. The cycle of Clomid was successful and Jools gave birth to Petal in 2009.
The couple conceived their fourth and fifth child, Buddy and River, naturally making them the happiest of parents.
People on social media often do not portray reality. With most concerned about creating a picture-perfect life. But not Daisy Ridley.
There are many celebrities with PCOS like Daisy Ridley, a British actress, who use their influence and large social media following to address their very own PCOS story. Daisy hopes through sharing her journey with PCOS and endometriosis it will help raise awareness and encourage women to take care of their bodies.
Daisy Ridley PCOS Story
A diagnosis of both endometriosis and PCOS is often very rare. However, it is possible and there is a huge number of celebrities with PCOS who also suffer from endometriosis.
Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women. It is a condition where tissue similar to that inside the uterus grows in other areas of the body, most commonly in the pelvis. Symptoms can include: pain during menstruation and ovulation, heavy menstrual bleeding or clotting, infertility, lower back pain, and pelvic pain, bloating/IBS.
Opening up about Endometriosis
In a heartfelt post on her Instagram, Daisy talks about how she has been suffering from endometriosis since her diagnosis at 15 years old. She reveals how after “one laparoscopy, many consultations and 8 years down the line, pain was back (more mild this time!) and my skin was THE WORST.”
She openly and honestly admits how her skin left her feeling self-conscious and lacking confidence. Daisy explained she tried everything to treat her skin including using products and antibiotics but nothing worked.
Daisy finally found out the reason for her skin problems, she had PCOS.
How Daisy Beat PCOS
Overcoming PCOS certainly takes time and is not easy, however, Daisy has been making significant progress. Through working with a dermatologist and making dietary changes which include cutting out dairy and sugar, she has treated her PCOS acne and healed her skin. Daisy mentions eliminating both dairy and sugar is not easy but she allows herself some balance.
To raise further awareness of PCOS and endometriosis, Daisy expresses the importance of getting checked. “To any of you who are suffering with anything, go to a doctor; pay for a specialist; get your hormones tested, get allergy testing; keep on top of how your body is feeling and don’t worry about sounding like a hypochondriac. From your head to the tips of your toes we only have one body, let us all make sure ours is working in tip-top condition, and take help if it’s needed.”
Celebrities with PCOS may appear to be living a picture perfect life, however, as Daisy’s story clearly shows, they too are human, they struggle and have imperfections just like we do.
Rebecca Atkinson is an English actress and a model.
As an actress and model clear skin is important and up until the age of 23, Rebecca had perfect skin. Rebecca recalls “horrendous big boils suddenly started appearing along my jawline,’ which “were red, swollen and really painful." The actress did not know the cause of her cystic acne until a makeup artist recognized the similarities with another female celebrity who also has PCOS. Red cystic acne along the jawline is a sign and common symptom of PCOS.
Rebecca Atkinson PCOS Story
Rebecca visited her GP about her acne, but all he would prescribe was acne medication. Luckily Rebecca's GP agreed to investigate once she explained experiencing acne at her age was out of the ordinary.
The Rotterdam Criteria
According to the Rotterdam Criteria, to be diagnosed with PCOS you must show two out of the three:
1. High Androgens
2. Irregular or Absent Periods
3. Polycystic Ovaries
The blood test results revealed a hormone imbalance. However, her GP recommended an ultrasound to examine her ovaries before diagnosing her with PCOS. The ultrasound scan showed cysts on the ovaries confirming she had PCOS.
After researching the condition, Rebecca believes she had all the signs of PCOS for years but never realized it. She says she used to suffer from irregular periods and excess hair growth on her face and chest.
PCOS Pregnancy concerns
A huge concern for Rebecca was PCOS and pregnancy. Rebecca is aware PCOS may be hereditary, revealing how her mother suffered from five miscarriages in nine years. She says her mother was very low in a particular hormone which made it difficult to maintain a pregnancy.
Rebecca’s doctor told her the affect PCOS will have on her fertility is unknown until she tried to conceive.
How Rebecca Beat PCOS
Rebecca was prescribed the Birth Control Pill to balance her hormones. However, she feared gaining weight while on the pill and therefore was also prescribed spironolactone, a diuretic. Doctors also prescribe Spironolactone to women with PCOS to help reduce male hormones.
Rebecca stopped the pill after three months, she says “I didn’t want all those hormones in my body and I was convinced it was making me ill, though my skin had improved.” Rebecca instead searched for an alternative treatment option.
Through her research, Rebecca found how Spironolactone is commonly used on its own as a treatment option for women with PCOS. She, therefore, decided to continue taking Spironolactone and noticed her skin completely cleared and her periods became regular.
Rebecca decided to also make changes to her diet. Before, the actress explains she would skip meals and eat cornflakes for dinner because she was not concerned about food. Now, Rebecca limits her fat and carbs intake and rarely eats any wheat, fried foods or sugar. But she says still allows herself to eat what she wants.
Sonam Kapoor, a Bollywood actress, has spoken at lengths about her journey from dealing with adolescent obesity, battling depression, body image and overcoming her PCOS. Her journey has been a struggle, to say the least.
Sonam Kapoor PCOS Story
Celebrities with PCOS have been very open about their lives during interviews and Sonam is an example of this. In a candid conversation about her weight loss journey, Sonam explains her battle with her weight began when she was 12 years old. She describes how her weight, unhealthy diet and lifestyle resulted in her suffering various health problems, including diabetes where she had to take insulin tablets.
Doctors diagnosed Sonam with PCOS in her teens. Sonam explains how she gained around 35kg in 5-6 months and how she began to grow hair in unusual places and also suffered from acne. All of which left her feeling self-conscious and upset.
Sonam suffered extreme body shaming at home, from her father and her mother, but also in the film industry. She started dieting to lose weight as a teenager but exposes the drastic measures she took, which also landed her in hospital.
How Sonam Beat PCOS
The pressure to be thin for films and magazine covers does not help, but Sonam strives for a healthy balance.
Sonam follows a healthy yet balanced lifestyle which means she eats the foods she enjoys with no restriction. However, she tries to avoid excess salt and sugar.
She enjoys drinking coconut water and cucumber juice, as they boost her energy levels.
Sonam's days involve rigorous physical tasks including dancing and swimming, and therefore, eats every two hours.
As part of her exercise routine, Sonam jogs every morning and also enjoys 30 minutes of Bikram yoga or Pilates.
Gemma Collins is an English television personality and is known for starring in the show The Only Way is Essex. The television star, now 38, says she at the stage in her life where she would love kids.
Gemma Collins PCOS Story
Gemma was recently diagnosed with PCOS and was told by Doctors that she suffers from a low egg count which can make it difficult for her to conceive. Doctors recommended hormonal tablets and weight loss to help.Speaking out on personal matters is never easy but Gemma has on numerous occasions. Gemma has openly spoken about her battle with her weight, emtoional eating and anxiety. She states until the age of 26 she never had a problem with her weight and says her weight gain began after breaking up with her long term boyfriend and suffering a miscarriage. Gemma explains she used food as a coping mechanism. However, believes it is her PCOS which is causing her to gain weight and not her binge eating.
How Gemma Beat PCOS
Gemma decided to join the show 'Dancing on Ice' to help her lose weight and she successfully lost 2.5st. She says she is more determined to lose the weight through sustainable methods over fad diets or weight loss surgery.
The reality TV star had recently announced the hormonal tablets and weight loss had increased her follicle count and Doctors are hopeful Gemma has a chance of getting pregnant with PCOS after 30.
Despite her PCOS and pregnancy struggles, Gemma is now optimistic she will have a PCOS pregnancy.
Danielle Lloyd spoke about her PCOS and endometriosis battle during an interview with OK! Magazine.
The former English glamour model and mother of four, spoke of the time she thought she was pregnant due to her stomach swelling up which, she says, makes you look six months pregnant. She explains how living with it is not easy and it can be painful.
American actress and model Jamie King spoke of her struggle to conceive and hopes that sharing her story will no longer make infertility a taboo topic.
Jamie King PCOS Story
In an Instagram post, Jamie spoke of how it took nine doctors and eight years of suffering in pain before she received a diagnosis of PCOS and endometriosis. Jamie lived with the pain all those years because she believed it was normal. It was only until the pain became increasingly worse did she question the cause. Women are made to think experiencing pain during the menstrual cycle is normal, but it is not.
Further, in her Instagram post, Jamie describes the 4 and a half year journey she and her husband went through to conceive their first child. After suffering from 5 miscarriages, ectopic pregnancy and going through 5 rounds of IVF and 26 IUI sessions, Jamie naturally became pregnant and her son James was born in October 2013.
Jamie spoke about her struggle with infertility and her PCOS miscarriage in an interview with Galore and revealed how she felt “ashamed” of her body.
She says “I thought that because my womb didn’t work the way I was taught it should work, I was broken.”
Despite her PCOS pregnancy struggles, Jamie conceived her second child naturally and gave birth to Leo in 2015.
Jamie voices the importance of visiting a Doctor if experiencing really long and painful periods. The actress also mentions “If you are cramping and have migraines and are sick to your stomach and are generally not well, that’s not normal”.
Kristine Hermosa is a Filipina actress and a mother to four children. Before Kristine and her husband found out she had PCOS they adopted son Kristian Daniel. But a PCOS diagnosis didn't stop Kristine and her husband. In 2011, even with her PCOS and pregnancy struggles, Kristine became yet another celebrity who naturally became pregnant and gave birth to her first biological daughter Ondrea Bliss.
Three years later and with no medication, Kristine was pregnant again. The couple welcomed their third child Kaleb Hanns in October 2014. Valentin, their fourth child, was born in 2016.
If these celebrities with PCOS overcame their PCOS and pregnancy struggles, You Can Too!
PCOS affects many women and when celebrities with PCOS share their story, it raises awareness of PCOS and spreads the message and encourages all women to seek support.
While these celebrities with PCOS share the same diagnosis, they also share the same determination to overcome it.
The right approach will differ from person to person because no one is the same, but living a healthy lifestyle became a priority for them. Key takeaways from the treatment plans of these celebrities with PCOS included a focus on:
Nutrition- Choose whole foods. These are foods that are minimally processed and are generally free from additives and preservatives. Avoid dairy and opt for complex carbohydrates with a low Glycemic Index (GI) to help manage your blood sugar and insulin levels. Also, ensure you consume plenty of vegetables and healthy fats.
Exercise- Exercise is yet another key component for managing PCOS. Research has found one of the best exercises for PCOS is resistance training. Studies show having more muscle helps both in the management of insulin resistance but also in the prevention.
Stress- Stress produces too much cortisol in the body and does not help treat PCOS. Find ways to manage your stress, for example, yoga or meditation.
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Hey there! I am Despina Pavlou, founder of PCOS Oracle and online coach. I want to share with you the diet and lifestyle changes I made to naturally reverse my PCOS and achieve hormonal balance. I believe using my holistic approach you too can take back control from PCOS.
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