Like many reproductive disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome (aka PCOS) doesn’t get discussed as much as it should, especially given how common it is. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that PCOS affects 8 to 13 percent of reproductive-aged woman all over the world, but that up 70 percent of women with PCOS are undiagnosed. That’s why it’s so important to raise awareness about this disorder, and why we always applaud when celebrities with PCOS step forward to share their stories.
PCOS is a hormonal condition that impacts women of reproductive age, and it occurs when your ovaries or adrenal glands produce too much of a “male” hormone called androgen. PCOS can come with a number of unpleasant and serious symptoms, including cysts on the ovaries, pelvic pain, acne, excess hair growth on the body, baldness or thinning hair, and infertility. That said, no two people experience PCOS the same, as this group of celebrities with PCOS proves. While some like Lea Michele struggled with weight gain and skin issues, others, like Victoria Beckham, have opened up about their irregular periods and struggles with infertility.
The more we spread the word about PCOS, the more likely people are to recognize their symptoms, talk to their doctor, and possibly get treatment, which is why these kinds of stories are so important. And beyond that, if you do have PCOS, it helps to feel less alone — and more understood — when those around you speak out about it. “PCOS is not even something that we hear about often,” Keke Palmer told SheKnows in 2021. “But I think [talking about it] was very freeing and also very vindicating.” Keep reading to learn about these celebrities’ journeys with PCOS.