Lea Michele Opens Up About Her PCOS Diagnosis: "I Didn't Know What Was Going On"

Health Magazine
Health Magazine

Lea Michele covers the October issue of Health Magazine, where she gets pretty personal about her health journey. Throughout the interview, the Glee alum opens up about her self-care practices and her experience living with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Lea was diagnosed with PCOS at 30, though she began experiencing the side effects of the hormonal condition shortly after she was done filming Glee. "Growing up, I had terrible skin. I went on Accutane three times. I was put on every medication that you could imagine to help my skin. Luckily, birth control was a savior for me when I was in my teens," she said. "And then when I was in my late 20s, I realized I wanted to detox my body of all medications. That's when everything happened — the return to bad skin and, this time, weight gain. I didn't know what was going on."

On her quest for answers, she mentions that multiple doctors prescribed her medication as a way to cope, though she still had an inkling that there was more to it than that. "All people wanted to do was give me more medication," she said. "I don't shun people for needing or wanting to take medication, but for me, I knew something wasn't right. I just felt medication wasn't going to be the final cure."

"The minute she looked at me, she was like, 'Oh, you have PCOS.' It explained everything."

Eventually, one doctor was able to get to the root of the issue right away. "The minute she looked at me, she was like, 'Oh, you have PCOS,'" she said. "It explained everything." PCOS is common in women, and can cause irregular periods and enlarged ovaries. The disorder is also associated with conditions like weight gain and acne, which is part of the reason why the 33-year-old puts so much care into her wellness routine now.

"The side effects can be brutal — like weight gain and bad skin," she said. "I think because of my age, that diagnosis, and the fact that I wasn't working a job that kept me dancing every single day, I needed to integrate some sort of more formal workouts. I realized that I like workouts with a spiritual element — whether it's SoulCycle or hot yoga."

Head over to Health.com to read Lea's full interview.