In case you missed it, TV personality and Strictly Come Dancing finalist Lalla Hiryama was one of the influential stars featured in our New Naked issue. In her #DearBody letter, the celeb spoke about being diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) as well as dealing with panic disorder.

Lalla’s latest Instagram post reminds us that our relationship with our body can go further than its appearance. While her body is not hard to love, by the media’s definition, that does not mean that the former dancer hasn’t had her share of trials in accepting and appreciating herself physically. Yesterday, she opened up further about her experience with PCOS with a photo of her New Naked shoot, saying: ‘Besides the normal “growing up as a women” in today’s society, the effects of PCOS changed how I felt about my body, how I felt IN my body and how I hated it.’

She also shared a behind-the-scenes look into what it’s like shooting completely in the nude. Clue: ‘weird’.

Read the full post here:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

@marieclairesa thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of this years #nakedissue Writing a letter to myself at first was weird but became the most incredible therapy. We have all battered and emotionally shamed our bodies over the years, and thinking back I’ve put mine through a war. Besides the normal ‘growing up as a women’ in today’s society, the effects of PCOS changed how I felt about my body, how I felt IN my body and how I hated it. But today I am grateful for what my body has taught me; sometimes the most powerful act in life is not to fight but to listen. My full letter is in this months issue. I hope you check it out and I hope you take the time to give yourself the incredible gift of healing through writing an honest letter to yourself. You’ll be surprised at what you discover through your heartfelt words. I continuously have to remind myself to be kind to the only real home I have and to celebrate it regardless. I have many insecurities and everyday is a chance to be brave. This shoot gave me that. This was my favorite pic from that very awkward shoot day. Being fully naked in front of a room full of magazine staff was ‘weird’ but this was my depiction of ‘letting go, being vulnerable but maintaining my power’ I was scared, but what a liberating experience. Your ninja in healing. #dearbody

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What is PCOS?

PCOS is widely undiagnosed, with Healthline reporting that, ‘Many women have PCOS but don’t know it. In one study, up to 70% of women with PCOS hadn’t been diagnosed.’

‘PCOS affects a woman’s ovaries [and the] hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. The ovaries also produce a small amount of male hormones, called androgens.’

This can lead to health issues such as cysts in the ovaries, high levels of male hormones and irregular or skipped periods.’ Fluid-filled sacs grow inside the ovaries [and] these sacs are actually follicles, each one containing an immature egg. The eggs never mature enough to trigger ovulation.’ This means that women who suffer from PCOS often have difficulty falling pregnant.

Common symptoms include:

  • Irregular periods: The lack of ovulation means that women with PCOS have irregular or very few periods.
  • Heavy bleeding: Because of the above, the uterine lining builds up resulting in heavier periods.
  • Hair growth: Due to the high levels of androgens, many women with PCOS grow more hair on their face and body.
  • Acne: As a result of the above, they also experience worse acne.
  • Weight gain: Around 80% of women with PCOS are, or suddenly become, overweight/obese.
  • Male-pattern baldness: Increased hair fall can result from androgen hormones.
  • Darkening of the skin: Dark patches of skin form around the neck, in the groin and under breasts.
  • Headaches: The hormones can trigger headaches.

If you suspect that you may have PCOS, we recommend a visit to your gynaecologist for a pelvic exam, blood test or ultrasound.