Sasha Pieterse rose to fame as a teenager when she starred as Alison DiLaurentis on the popular murder-mystery show “Pretty Little Liars.”
While the now-27-year-old appeared on the Freeform series for seven years, her body drastically changed throughout its run.
Pieterse detailed gaining 70 pounds during the show’s airing due to her polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
She explained on a recent episode of Taylor Lautner’s The Squeeze podcast how she went to several doctors to try to amend her symptoms and stop her weight hike.
“This is part of the health issues that I was speaking of while I was going through ‘Pretty Little Liars,’” she explained.
She recalled: “The changes that were happening to me were documented on camera.”
The “Perfectionists” actor noted that she never had a regular menstruation cycle and gynecologists always assured her that her body would regulate itself.
However, when she hit the age of around 15-16, she “started noticing a difference in just my metabolism in general.”
“At 17, I gained 70 lbs. in the year, for no reason. There was no explanation for it,” she said.
The South African-born actress then went to “over 15 gynecologists” to find an answer to her problems. But some of the doctors blamed Pieterse’s health on bad eating and lack of exercise.
“It was the most frustrating experience and disheartening because no matter what I did, no matter how well I behaved, no matter how great I treated my body, things were actually getting worse rather than better, it was very very confusing,” the mother of one sighed.
“So after a long process, someone recommended that I go to an endocrinologist,” Pieterse stated.
The endocrinologist told her she had PCOS, a hormonal condition that can cause irregular periods, weight gain (especially around the abdomen), acne, infertility and excess body hair.
“I’d never heard of PCOS before. And it’s a disease, it’s not curable [and] it can be dormant,” she said.
The “This Country is Bad Ass” singer added that the “most frustrating part” about the experience was that PCOS is “fairly easy to diagnose.”
“Every woman, everyone has a different experience with it. It could be your period, it could be weird hair growth, it could be major gastro issues, it could be crazy cysts on your ovaries, it could be weight gain,” she continued. “I had a lot of those outward symptoms that everyone could see.”
She then revealed that giving birth to her son, Hendrix, in 2020 helped keep her PCOS at bay and balance out her hormones.