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Keke Palmer's pregnancy has fans opening up about PCOS and fertility: 'Will I ever have kids?'

The "Nope" star shared that she and her boyfriend are expecting on "Saturday Night Live," joking that she was upset the rumors were true.
/ Source: TODAY

Keke Palmer confirmed the rumors about her pregnancy on the Dec. 3 episode of "Saturday Night Live," igniting a conversation among those living with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

During her first-ever opening monologue on the storied stage in Studio 8H, the 29-year-old actor revealed that she's pregnant with her first child. Palmer's boyfriend, Darius Jackson, was just feet away, according to Talia Parkinson-Jones, executive producer of TODAY with Hoda & Jenna.

“There are people in my comments saying, ‘Keke’s having a baby, Keke’s pregnant,’ and I want to set the record straight,” Palmer said as Jackson watched. “I am.”

Right afterward, she unbuttoned her trench coat and showed off her growing baby bump.

Host Keke Palmer during the Monologue on Saturday Night Live.
Host Keke Palmer during the Monologue on Saturday Night Live on December 3, 2022.NBC / Will Heath

“I've got to say, it’s bad enough when people spread rumors about you, but it’s even worse when they’re correct,” she joked. “I was trying ... so hard to keep it on the down low because I have a lot of stuff going on. People kept coming up to me, ‘Congratulations?’ I’m like, ‘Shh! Can y’all stop? I have a liquor sponsorship on the line!’ Once the check clears, then we can get to the damn baby shower!”

“This has been the biggest blessing," Palmer added.

What is PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome?

Fans of the former child star were quick to point out online that Palmer's happy news is even more exciting because she's been open about her struggle with polycystic ovary syndrome.

PCOS is a common hormonal imbalance that can lead to irregular periods, ovarian cysts, weight gain and skin problems, according to WomensHealth.gov. PCOS is also one of the most common — but treatable — causes of infertility in women; having it does not mean you can't get pregnant, the website noted.

It's most likely to affect women of childbearing years. An estimated 5 to 10% of women under 49 in the U.S. have PCOS, per WomensHealth.gov. Most are diagnosed in their 20s or 30s — usually after struggling to get pregnant. But PCOS can arise at any point after puberty, the website explained. Being obese or having a close family member with PCOS can increase your risk. There's no cure, but you can manage the symptoms.

What has Keke Palmer said about her PCOS?

Palmer shared in December 2020 via Instagram that PCOS had been "attacking (her) from the inside out" and that she "had no idea." She shared a selfie of her acne, calling it "the least harmful" side effect of the condition and encouraging others to advocate for their health. In the caption, she recalled that doctors struggled to diagnose her.

"Unfortunately doctors are people and if you don’t 'look the part' they may not think that’s your problem," she wrote. "They may not even suggest it if you 'look healthy' whatever that means! I came to a doctor in tears once and all they offered was a measles vaccine... Exactly."

"I’m posting this to say that it’s okay and we can help ourselves," she added.

In a November 2021 appearance on "The Tamron Hall Show," Palmer said that her acne continuing past puberty led her to wonder if she had PCOS, and by doing her own research, she discovered that she had other PCOS symptoms, such as facial hair.

“I kind of have a low-key beard going on that I have to shave every couple of days," Palmer quipped.

Explaining why she decided to speak out about her condition, she said the goal was to empower herself.

“It was it was essentially ... a selfish act of saying, ‘Hey, I still love myself despite what I might be going through, and if you’re dealing with something like this, I love you, too.’ And then to see the fans’ response to me, it really meant a lot," she said.

Fans praise Palmer's pregnancy and share their stories

Because PCOS can lead to fertility struggles for some (but not everyone) diagnosed with it, many people shared how inspired they were by Palmer's pregnancy.

"With PCOS, you’re told you won’t have kids so I know this hits different for her. Congratulations Keke!" one Twitter user wrote, clarifying in a follow-up tweet,"Not that you won’t have kids but that it’ll be complicated, risks, etc. if you have pcos, then you know."

The first tweet garnered over 69,000 likes and 5,300 retweets, and a few users even replied with photos of their children conceived despite their PCOS diagnoses.

"Currently 24 weeks pregnant with our second child after secondary infertility for 6 years and treatments!" one person replied. "PCOS & endometriosis had doctors tell me I wouldn’t get pregnant because of my weight but met the most amazing specialists who helped us." The tweet also included a sweet photo of the family of three holding several sonograms.

Another user shared a photo of their "PCOS baby <3" smiling and laughing. "Definitely congratulations to keke! I know the feeling," they added.

A third replied: "I was told it was going to be very difficult for me to have children. And I was so scared and crushed. But I was blessed with three girls in four years! I don’t know what I did to deserve it, but I’m very fortunate."

Other Twitter users shared that Palmer's success story gave them hope for when the time comes to start their own families.

"As a woman with PCOS seeing Keke Palmer pregnant and also having PCOS is truly amazing," one woman tweeted. "The first thing you think about after your diagnosis is 'Will I ever have kids?'. God always has the last say so, so I know when my time comes it will be one of my greatest testimonies."

"(Knowing) that keke palmer was able to get pregnant with having PCOS, gives me hope in knowing that I can have a baby myself . never give up hope!" wrote another.