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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PSOC) is a condition that affects one in five women on child-bearing age. 

Polycystic ovaries are ovaries containing a large number of harmless cysts that are no bigger than 8mm each. 

Those who suffer with the condition may also experience a various symptoms including irregular or no menstrual periods, heavy periods, excess body and facial hair, acne, pelvic pain, and difficulty getting pregnant. 

For years, scientists struggled to determine a an exact cause of PCOS, but a new study published in Nature Medicine has shone a light on the issue. 

A team led by Paolo Giacobini at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research discovered discovered that levels of Müllerian hormone (AMH) were 30 per cent higher in pregnant women with PCOS than those without.

With a cause now more-or-less established, researchers are able to explore a whole range of opportunities with the hopes of finding a cure. 

Robert Normal, from the University of Adelaide, Australia, said: “It’s a radical new way of thinking about polycystic ovary syndrome and opens up a whole range of opportunities for further investigation.”




Ovarian cancer effects hundreds of Irish women every year.

However, many of these cases are not diagnosed until the later stages of the disease. 

This is largely due to the fact that symptoms usually take a long time to appear, and when they do they are often mistaken for other illnesses. 

According to a new study, there’s now a way to accurately detect the disease in the early stages.

Research has revealed that regular blood tests could be the key. 

Doctors and researchers monitored a group of ‘high-risk’ women (carriers of the ovarian cancer gene) over a ten year period and noted that cancerous tumours were detected much earlier when the women underwent blood tests three times a year.

Although this is a promising development when it comes to the early detection of ovarian cancer, it must be stressed that the study would need to be extended over the next few years in order to accurately determine how many lives could be saved.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer include, bloated feeling, persistent swollen abdomen, pain or dragging sensation in your lower abdomen or side and vague indigestion or nausea, among others. 

At the moment there is no national screening programme in Ireland and women who feel they may be at risk are advised to visit their GP.

And remember, smear tests will not pick up the signs of ovarian cancer. 


New research from healthcare experts Balance Activ has found that 92% of women would do an online search of their symptoms before seeing a doctor, and three quarters of those women rarely or never go on to buy medicine to treat their condition.

The same study found that over a third of 18-24 year old feel embarrassed talking to their doctor about intimate health issues, and 39% said they would cancel the appointment if they found out it was with a male doctor.

Are we being too prudish, or is it a fair enough reason to expect a female doctor when discussing intimate issues? After all, they ARE professionals, so it shouldn’t matter if they’re a man or a woman.

Dr Rosemary Leonard of Balance Activ explained how our feeling embarrassed could be putting us at risk:  “Young women’s hesitation to talk about these issues could be why more than half of women don’t know about some very common conditions such as Bacterial Vaginosis (BV).

“BV is the most common vaginal condition, affecting one in three women, which can be caused by everyday things such as excessive washing or periods.

“It can have serious implications including putting you more at risk of catching an STI after unprotected sex, or increasing the risk of miscarriage or pre-term birth, so it’s essential to diagnose and treat it correctly.”


Severe dehydration can affect you in ways you probably would have put down to other factors.  If you are suffering from any of these four symptoms, grab a glass of water and see if it helps get you back on track.

Many people put feeling dizzy down to standing up too fast; however, it could be a lack of water. Grab a drink and see if it subsides.

Dark urine
If your urine is a dark colour or has a strong smell you don’t have enough water in your body. The colour and smell are both down to the fact that your kidneys are working harder to produce wee.

If your body feels so tired you can’t even face the most basic of daily tasks you need to graba glass of water. Many people put this down to a late night or sleep deprivation but it is also a sign that you are severely dehydrated.

Feeling confused? Well you can put it down to lack of fluid in your system. Your confusion may include finding it hard to do simple tasks or concentrate so up your daily water intake.