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Nikki & Brie Bella Open Up About PCOS, Pregnancy & The Right Time to Grow Your Family

In the January/February cover story for Health, Nikki and Brie Bella — known worldwide for their work with WWE, their reality show Total Bellas and their various other businesses — opened up about how their careers as “The Bella Twins” and personal lives have evolved since they first fell in love with the world of women’s wrestling. In the cover story, both retired WWE divas shared the unique challenges of making the right decisions for growing their families and careers as they navigate work, family planning and celebrity.

Brie, who already has a three-year-old daughter, Birdie, discussed the “back and forth” feelings she has about having another child with her husband, wrestler Daniel Bryan. She said that while the idea of their daughter being an older sister is absolutely an “amazing” one to think about, she’s very aware of how both parents traveling, working and living with two kiddos would be a challenge.

“We were trying for eight months, and I couldn’t get pregnant. I was stressed, and it wasn’t happening,” Brie told Health. “There were a couple times that I was so late and was sure I was pregnant. Then I would get my period and bleed really badly. I think the universe was telling me something — like, it’s not a great time to have another baby. To be honest, I’d get these sweats thinking about how to travel with two. I hear going from one to two changes things big-time. Bryan travels all the time. We were talking about it, and think it would be amazing to see Birdie as a big sister. I just have to think about my career — and does it fit in now, or do I need to wait until my husband is home more?”

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SO beyond honored and excited to finally share with our Bella Army the January and February @healthmagazine cover! As well as @thebriebella and I’s individual digital covers! Our cover hits stands and mailboxes December 18th! Make sure to get your very own. It’s been a dream to grace this cover. I have always loved what this magazine has represented. I have always bought it for their health, beauty, and even mental advice. Always has been one of those magazines that gives you great motivation in every aspect of your life! So to say I am smiling massive today is an understatement. 🙂 I’m so extremely happy! Thank you @vision.pr as well for your constant belief in my sister and I! Love you all! And Bella Army without your continued love and support we wouldn’t be here!! So thank you! Make sure to take selfies with these magazines and tag us! Can’t wait to see them all on my feed! ❤️ #health #healthmagazine #bellas #bellaarmy #totalbellas #wwe #birdiebee #nicoleandbrizee #belleradici #entrepreneur

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Nikki Bella, who’d previously had a public break-up with actor/wrestler John Cena that was featured on Total Bellas, got real about how she’d been really gung-ho about wanting to start a family while with Cena but has felt her feelings shift as she’s found a groove with her new partner, Artem Chigvintsev. She adds that watching her sister and brother-in-law’s parenting in action was “a great form of birth control.”

“It’s crazy; I was yearning for a baby for so long,” Nikki said. “In a way, Brie has been a great form of birth control because I love my career. I know it’s the same for Brie. When I see her balancing our career with being a mom — it’s the most exhausting thing to watch.”

And, now, she said that her own health — and a diagnosis with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) — has given her new ideas about her own timeline for motherhood.

“I definitely want to be a mom one day, but I don’t want it now,” Nikki told Health. “I’m in this unfortunate situation where I’m 36 and everyone is reminding me, ‘Your eggs, your eggs’ So I’m freezing my eggs… I also found out I have PCOS… I’m getting brown spots all over my face, acne, weight fluctuations, and hair loss,” Nikki shared. “I actually just found out and was devastated. You research it, and there is no cure.”

PCOS is a condition that affects roughly 10 percent of uterus-having people of reproductive age. As previously reported, the research around what exactly causes PCOS and the best practices for guiding people through it are frustratingly lacking. For people with PCOS, they can often have irregular periods, small cysts appearing on their ovaries during ultrasounds and elevated levels of a male hormone called androgen in their systems — which can lead to facial and body hair growth, acne, baldness and, yes, a heightened risk of fertility problems. PCOS is also closely linked with Type 2 diabetes, as they share symptoms and have similar cholesterol tests.

Challenges for people with PCOS who are trying to conceive can often include not having a clear picture of when they’re most fertile — since PCOS can interfere with ovulation and irregular periods can mean there are months between periods. While treatments for people who aren’t actively trying to conceive come down to birth control most of the time — because the progestin helps with symptoms — it’s admittedly a bit more complicated for people who want to get pregnant.

As Dr. Christine Mullin, a physician and director of the in vitro fertilization program and preimplantation genetic diagnosis program at Northwell Health Fertility, previously told SheKnows: “It may take longer for women with PCOS to conceive, but ultimately, with the right dose of hormones and some patience, successful pregnancies are quite common.”

And, for Nikki, no doubt, she’ll take on motherhood and anything else thrown at her like a champ: “… I do feel like being a mom is in my future,” Bella said. “I am just not sure how soon.”

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