Athletes’ Ovaries

Some really successful female athletes rarely or never get their periods. We would say this is unfair, except we’re not really into working that hard, physically. These athletes’ loss of periods was traditionally thought to be the cause of ridiculous training sessions and strict diets (and many still believe this to be true), but now some researchers think polycystic ovary syndrome may be the cause. Magnus Hagmar, a researcher at the Karolinska Institute, found that polycystic ovaries were much more common in athletes training for the Olympics compared with the average woman. Not only that, but this syndrome causes an increase in testosterone, which can result in a competitive advantage by helping women build muscle mass and absorb oxygen more easily — but they also might have excess body hair and acne. Ah, the price of gold. [BBC]