Taapsee Pannu reveals her PCOS struggle, says yoga helped her beat it

Actress Taapsee Pannu has opened up about her past struggle with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Find out what helped her combat it.
Taapsee Pannu
On World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022, Taapsee Pannu shares why period talks need to be normalized. Image courtesy: Instagram | Taapsee Pannu
Team Health Shots Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 13:09 pm IST
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From being a subject often spoken of in Chinese whispers to becoming a topic which is gaining traction through celebrity voices, menstruation has come a long way. And yet, there’s a longer way to go. This Menstrual Hygiene Day, actress Taapsee Pannu reveals how suffering from Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) made her go through very painful periods once upon a time.

PCOS is a hormonal disorder – a lifestyle issue – that is becoming increasingly common among women of reproductive age. And while Menstrual Hygiene Day may be all about how to manage menstrual health and hygiene, it is also important for women to know all about health issues that can aggravate or impede period-related problems.

Let’s get to know how Taapsee Pannu dealt with PCOS and the period hacks she uses to tame her cramps!

Excerpts from Taapsee Pannu’s interview:

Q. Any weird thing you have heard about periods?

There were no taboos (related to periods) at my house. It wasn’t like we were not allowed to talk about periods, but it was a very “hush hush” topic. I find it really funny now that out of my four-member family, three of us were women and it was still a “hush” topic. But I never questioned this as I was young back then. When I grew up, I started talking to people and reading about menstruation and one of the weirdest things that I heard was that while you are on your periods, you are not allowed to touch pickles. Go figure!

Q. What is your go-to hack for period cramps?

For the longest time, during my school and college years, I was suffering from PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I recovered from it gradually, with age and with the help of some yoga exercises. It was turning out to be impossible to cure it with medication because the medication for PCOS is steroids to balance out your hormones. I think it is not a very healthy solution at all. So, because of this syndrome, I used to have very painful cramps and I still have them sometimes. The only hacks which I discovered after I got rid of my PCOS problem, was that you need to make your core muscles strong to be able to endure the pain of period cramps, and the old hack of using a hot water bottle to ease out the pain.


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Q. Can you suggest some yoga poses for people dealing with PCOS?

I discovered that it was all getting driven through the inactivity or less activity of the thyroid gland, the master gland which triggers the functioning of all the other glands. So, I started practicing Ujjayi Pranayama to make sure that my thyroid gland was functioning properly. This resulted in my other glands getting triggered in the right way, and slowly my PCOS problem went away. I supported this yoga exercise by improving my lifestyle habits, because what you eat and your workout routine, also adds to it (the problem).

taapsee pannu PCOS
Taapsee relied on natural ways to treat her PCOS problems. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Q. What is your favorite period product?

Till date, I use a sanitary napkin during my menstrual cycle. I use an organic and biodegradable product and that is what I recommend to everyone around me.

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Q. Do you fall prey to emotional eating during your periods?

I have never had the issue of ‘emotional eating’ during my periods. I’ve lucky enough with that. But I have had cramp issues for which my nutritionist, Munmun Ganeriwal gave me some hacks which I adopted in my daily diet. She made my cramps bearable with certain calcium supplements and some special kind of laddoo with natural ingredients that I get made at home.

Watch Taapsee Pannu talk all about PCOS and periods in this Health Shots exclusive video!

Q. Why must period talks be normalized?

Because it’s not a crime, nor is it a kind of STD. It is something as natural as any other thing that a body goes through. It is a very natural process and it is not something that you choose to have or not to have. If we can talk about our excretion system, we can also talk about things related to menstruation.

So ladies, just like Taapsee Pannu, deal with periods holistically!

(Taapsee Pannu was interviewed for Health Shots by Nikita Bhardwaj)

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