A WOMEN'S group in Blackburn is raising awareness of a condition that affects the fertility of women and offering support for anyone experiencing it.

Owner of Viva Skin and Laser in Blackburn, Nighat Anwar wants to highlight the issue of polycystic ovaries, where a cyst is formed in the ovaries, making it difficult to conceive.

The condition is said to affect one in five women, but not many know it exists. Symptoms include, recurring acne, heavy and irregular periods with a lot of pain, more facial and body hair than usual, weight gain and thinning hair.

The 39-year-old, who goes to the Women's Forum meetings in Blackburn, said she felt she wanted to support any women going through PCOS and speaking about it was the right thing to do.

She said: “We believe women should not feel isolated or embarrassed about their excessive hair, there is help and advice available and we are here to help.

“I want to offer my support and give back to the community because women may feel they can’t be open about PCOS when side affects like facial hair are an issue.

“Girls might feel insecure and need someone to support them and discuss options with them for getting the right treatment.

"Our clients see dramatic life changing effects and do not have to hide away or cover their facial hair."

Many women may not at first realise they have the condition, as more than half of the women with it do not show any symptoms.

Medication is available for treatment but women with excess facial hair may experience embarrassment or shame and getting hair removed can be an expensive option.

As well as being encouraged to attend the Women’s Forum at the Morrisons training room in Blackburn. The meetings are the first Monday of every month at 11am to noon.

Ms Anwar will offer a free consultation and patch test to anyone diagnosed with PCOS.

To be eligible for this, a doctor’s letter is needed to show they have been diagnosed with the condition.