Bleats

A Super Simple New Blood Test For Endometriosis Could Save Women Years Of Pain

It could help diagnose up to 90% of cases.

Ask anyone with endometriosis how long it took them to get a diagnosis, and they’ll probably tell you a very long horror story.

Doctors who didn’t listen, didn’t believe them, didn’t even bring up the possibility that the crippling pain they’ve been suffering for years and years might be, y’know, a condition that affects one in ten women. (740,000 people in Australia, to be precise.)

But a new test being launched in the UK can detect endometriosis in over 90% of cases – and instead of invasive surgery, all it requires is a blood test.

People with endo have tissue similar to uterine lining that grows where it’s not supposed to be. It’s super painful, and on average, it currently takes over seven years to get a diagnosis, it often requires keyhole surgery to confirm, and that’s usually after spending a LOT of time having doctors tell you pain is just part of the whole having-a-womb thing.

But the test developed by UK researchers can detect biomarkers on tiny scraps of DNA in a blood sample, and it picked it up in 90% of cases in the study – even when the condition wasn’t very advanced.

Endo is bigger than just “period pain” – it’s a chronic condition without a cure that can require regular surgery, and can seriously affect fertility.

So yeah, this is a big deal.

The test should be available in the UK within nine months or so.

It’d be nice to see Australia get into gear so this test can be trialled here ASAP too.

Something that could make hundreds of thousands of Australians’ lives better should maybe be a priority, hmmm?

Even If You Take Your Contraceptive Pill Perfectly, Your DNA Might Just Be Screwing You Over

1 in 20 women have a genetic mutation that could be messing with their pill.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that women have been taking the pill wrong for 60 years because of the Pope, now it turns out that our own genes might be messing with these crucial meds.

Yep: all those medical warnings and patronising stats about “imperfect use” leading to unplanned pregnancies might just have been dragged to hell.

A new study has found that an estimated 5% of women – that’s one in 20, for my fellow mathletes out there – have a DNA mutation that breaks down the hormones used in birth control.

The gene studied here makes your body produce higher levels of an enzyme that basically dismantles the hormones suppressing ovulation, meaning there’s a higher chance of accidental pregnancy – even if you’re taking the pill on time, every day, and skip the sugar pills.

Thanks, Mr DNA!

The study followed 350 women with a contraceptive implant and sequences their DNA, and it’s one of the first research projects to look at how an individual’s genetic makeup can affect the effectiveness of their birth control.

Maybe she’s taking the pill wrong. Maybe she’s born with it, DOCTOR SNARKY-PANTS.

The failure rate of oral contraceptives is around 7-9%, which is high for a hormonal birth control method.

If 5% of women have this gene mutation, that means one in twenty women who are taking the pill have it.

This suggests more than half of that failure rate could potentially be due to factors beyond their control, and not just being “imperfect”.

“When a woman says she got pregnant while on birth control the assumption was always that it was somehow her fault,” said Dr Aaron Lazorwitz, the study’s lead author

“These findings show that we should listen to our patients and consider if there is something in their genes that caused this.”

More research is needed, but Lazorwitz is on it – and this finding points to a future where finding the right birth control isn’t just a lifelong process of trial, error, and being super mad at your body most of the time.

Gwyneth Paltrow Says She 'Didn't Understand' She Couldn't Just Make Things Up For Her Goop Website

Someone's got jade egg on their face.

Gwyneth Paltrow dabbles in acting in the odd superhero movie.

But the rest of the time, she’s steaming her vagina, inventing yogagetting sued for telling people to put jade eggs up their vaginas, getting a Netflix show anyway, or recommending you buy your mum a casual Spanish village for Christmas – and then periodically having to explain all of the above.

At a talk at South by Southwest festival in Austin, Paltrow revealed that many of the more bizarre moments Goop is famous for actually happened because they thought they could just kind of make s**t up.

“We didn’t understand that you can’t make certain claims,” Paltrow said.

“We just thought we were like, writing a blog.”

Good to know Gwyneth holds herself to such a rigorous editorial and commercial standard.

 

She called the jade egg settlement a “painful lesson” and added that team Goop “just like to ask questions”.

Paltrow said the brand has now hired “a regulatory team and in-house scientists and lawyers”, and they’re “all buttoned up”.

She was also asked about her appearance on Saturday Night Live over the previous weekend, where she cameoed as a Goop employee who can’t explain what an expensive jar of salt scrub actually does (“As we all know, salt is angry sugar”).

Paltrow explained that it is also important to have a sense of humour when you’re being criticised and sued for being full of it.

“As they say in Buddhism, to live is to struggle, to suffer. And so I think you really have to have a sense of humor about it as you go through it.”

I guess if you’ve already got a jade egg up your vag, it’d be a bit uncomfortable to have a stick up your arse as well.

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