For the first time, scientists have been able to observe people developing Type 2 diabetes – and confirmed that fat over-spills from the liver into the pancreas, triggering the chronic condition. The research, led by Professor Roy Taylor at Newcastle University, UK, is published in the academic journal, Cell Metabolism. The study involved a group […]
Condoms are the best way to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancy.
Condoms are a barrier contraceptive made from latex rubber, a synthetic rubber called polyisoprene, or a very thin plastic called polyurethane.
Condoms are available free from:
- contraception clinics
- sexual health or (GUM) genitourinary medicine clinics
- some GP surgeries
- some young people’s services
You can also buy condoms from:
- mail order catalogues
- vending machines in some public toilets
- some petrol stations
Always buy condoms that carry the British Standards Institution (BSI) kitemark or the European CE symbol as proof of quality.
This means they have been tested to the required safety standards.
Also, check that the expiry date is clearly visible on the packet.
Types of condom
There are 2 basic types of condom available in the UK: male and female.
The female condom is sometimes called a femidom because Femidom is its brand name in the UK.
During sex, male condoms are worn on the penis to prevent semen (sperm) entering the woman’s vagina when the man ejaculates (comes).
The condom should be put on when the penis is erect (hard) and before it comes into contact with your partner’s body.
To use a male condom correctly, follow these steps:
- Carefully open the foil packaging that the condom is wrapped in, taking care not to tear the condom.
- Hold the tip of the condom between your forefinger and thumb to make sure it’s put on the right way round and no air is trapped inside (the condom may split if air is trapped inside).
- Place the condom over the tip of the penis.
- While squeezing the tip of the condom, roll it down over the length of the erect penis.
- If the condom will not unroll, it’s probably on inside out – start again with a new condom as there may be sperm on it.
Make sure that the condom stays in place while you’re having sex. If it comes off, stop and put on a new one.
After ejaculation (when the man has come) and while the penis is still hard, hold the condom in place and carefully withdraw the penis from your partner’s body.
You should only take the condom off the penis when there’s no further contact with your partner’s body.
Wrap the used condom in a tissue and put it in the bin. You should never flush condoms down the toilet as they may block the toilet and can cause environmental damage.
Female condoms allow women to share the responsibility of choosing what type of contraception to use before having sex with their partner.
Female condoms can be inserted at any time before sex, but must always be inserted before the penis touches the genital area.
To use a female condom, follow these steps:
- Carefully remove the female condom from its packaging, taking care not to tear it.
- Place the closed end of the condom into the vagina, holding the soft inner ring between your forefinger or middle finger and thumb.
- Use your other hand to separate the folds of skin (labia) around the vagina, then put the squeezed ring into the vagina.
- Put your index or middle finger or both in the open end of the condom until the inner ring can be felt and push the condom as far up the vagina as possible, with the outer ring lying against the outside of the vagina.
- The outer ring of the condom should rest closely on the outside of the vagina at all times during sex – if the outer ring gets pushed inside the vagina, stop and put it back in the right place.
- Make sure that the penis goes in the condom – take care to make sure that the penis does not go between the condom and the wall of the vagina.
Immediately after sex, slightly twist and pull the end of the condom to remove it, taking care not to spill any sperm inside the vagina.
If this happens, you’ll need to seek advice about emergency contraception from your GP or pharmacist.
Wrap the condom in a tissue and throw it away in a bin, not in the toilet.
Condoms come lubricated to make them easier to use, but you may like to use additional lubricant (lube).
This is particularly advised for anal sex to reduce the chance of the condom splitting.
If you use a lubricant when having sex, make sure it’s water based. Oil-based lubricants, such as lotion or baby oil, can damage latex and polyisoprene condoms, and increase the likelihood that they’ll break.
What to do if your condom splits
If your condom splits while you’re having sex, you should visit your GP or go to your local sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic as soon as possible, as you may need emergency contraception.
Emergency contraception is available free from contraception clinics, GPs that provide contraception services, Brook clinics, sexual health clinics and some GUM clinics, but not all are able to fit the IUD.
The emergency contraceptive pill Levonelle and ellaOne can be bought from most pharmacies, and some provide it free to young people.
The vagina is designed to keep itself clean with the help of natural secretions (discharge). Find out how to help your vagina keep clean and healthy, and why you don’t need douches or vaginal wipes.
The vagina is a tube of muscle inside a woman’s body that runs from the cervix (the opening of the womb) to the vaginal opening.
The external sex organs, which are called the vulva, surround the vaginal opening.
Looking after your everyday health can help keep your vagina in good shape, says Dr Suzy Elneil, consultant in urogynaecology at University College Hospital, London, and spokesperson for Wellbeing of Women.
“Generally, good vaginal health is maintained by making sure you’re in good general health,” she explains. “This includes a healthy diet and exercise.
“Normal exercise helps maintain good vaginal function, as walking and running helps the pelvic floor to tone up and ensure good general health.”
Vaginal secretions or discharge
Other than your period as part of your natural menstrual cycle, it’s normal to produce clear or white secretions (discharge) from your vagina.
This mucus is produced naturally from the neck of the womb, known as the cervix.
“Vaginal discharge is not ‘always a bad sign’,” says Dr Elneil. “There is a myth that copious clear or white discharge is associated with sexually transmitted infections.
“Changes in the amount of discharge can be 100% hormonal – in other words, linked to the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause.”
The character and amount of vaginal discharge varies throughout your menstrual cycle.
Around the time your ovary releases an egg (ovulation), your discharge usually becomes thicker and stretchy, like raw egg white.
Healthy discharge doesn’t have a strong smell or colour. You may feel an uncomfortable wetness, but you shouldn’t have any itching or soreness around your vagina.
If there are any changes to your discharge that aren’t normal for you, such as a change in colour or it starts to smell or itch, see your GP as you might have an infection.
Bacteria in the vagina
There are lots of bacteria inside the vagina, and they’re there to protect it.
Professor Ronnie Lamont, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says: “The vagina contains more bacteria than anywhere else in the body after the bowel, but the bacteria are there for a reason.”
The good bacteria inside the vagina:
- provide “numerical dominance” – they outnumber other potential harmful bacteria that might enter the vagina
- help keep the vagina’s pH balance (how acidic the vagina is) at an even level, which helps keep the balance of bacteria healthy
- can produce bacteriocins (naturally occurring antibiotics) to reduce or kill other bacteria entering the vagina
- produce a substance that stops invading bacteria sticking to the vagina walls, which prevents bacteria invading the tissues
If the balance of bacteria is disturbed, this can lead to infection and inflammation.
Bacteria called lactobacilli help keep the vagina’s pH balance at its normal low level (less than pH 4.5), which also prevents the growth of other organisms.
If the pH of the vagina increases (it gets less acidic), the quality or amount of lactobacilli can fall and other bacteria can multiply.
Washing your vagina
It’s a good idea to avoid perfumed soaps, gels and antiseptics as these can affect the healthy balance of bacteria and pH levels in the vagina and cause irritation.
Use plain, unperfumed soaps to wash the area around the vagina (the vulva) gently every day.
The vagina will clean itself inside your body with natural vaginal secretions (discharge).
“During your period, washing more than once a day may be helpful,” says Dr Elneil, who points out that keeping the perineal area between the vagina and anus clean is important, too.
“Good perineal hygiene is necessary by washing that area at least once a day using your normal bathing routines.”
“All women are different,” says Professor Lamont. “Some may wash with perfumed soap and not notice any problems.
“But if a woman has vulval irritation or symptoms, one of the first things you can do is use non-allergenic, plain soaps to see if that helps.”
A douche flushes water up into the vagina, clearing out vaginal secretions. Some women use a douche to “clean” the vagina.
But using a douche can disrupt the normal vaginal bacteria, so it isn’t recommended that you use one.
“I can’t think of any circumstances where douches are helpful, because all they do is wash out everything that’s in the vagina, including all the healthy bacteria,” explains Professor Lamont.
There’s no evidence that douching protects against STIs or vaginal infections, and it may even increase the risk.
Scented wipes and vaginal deodorants
These perfumed products can disrupt the vagina’s healthy natural balance.
“If nature had intended the vagina to smell like roses or lavender, it would have made the vagina smell like roses or lavender,” says Professor Lamont.
Washing with water and a plain soap should be all you need to keep your vagina healthy. It’s normal for the vagina to have a scent.
“Vaginal odour can change at different times of the reproductive cycle and shouldn’t always be thought of as being a sign of infection or illness,” says Dr Elneil.
If you’re worried about the way your vagina smells, the smell is unpleasant or you’re using perfumed products to cover up your vagina’s smell, you should see your GP. You might have an infection that needs treatment.
The most common cause of unusual vaginal discharge is bacterial vaginosis, which can cause an unpleasant smell. It’s easily treated with antibiotics, so see your GP if you’re worried.
Some bacteria and viruses can get into the vagina during sex.
You can protect your vagina against these infections by using a condom every time you have sex.
All women aged from 25 to 64 are invited for cervical screening.
Being screened regularly means any abnormal changes in the cervix can be identified early on and, if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing.
I was staying at a friend’s for the last weekend. She had some interior décor work to do and I was pitching in. So while there, I was hand washing my sweet nothings as usual and she was quite surprised that I was spending time and effort in hand washing at all, anything in general and lingerie in particular!
Thought I might share some pointers with you my dears as well on the obvious but often forgotten golden rules in lingerie care.
- Hand washing extends the lifecycle of your well-loved bra. a good bra should last up to 6 months (of course the frequency of its use also plays a part.)
- Washing in a machine will stretch out the elastic components of both bra and panty, decreasing its efficiency in giving the required support. A delicate lace bra and other detailed panties will also get damaged after constant machine cycles.
- Leaving a bra unhooked in the machine will cause it to get tangled with the other clothes and damage the hook and elastic. It will also damage a well-constructed brassiere set by pulling it out of shape.
- Washing colored lingerie with other clothes will cause it to lose it’s shine and color.
- Aggressive machine washing can cause the underwire to pop out of its’ encasing and the fabric to thin and tear.
- Bras should be washed between 2–5 wears depending on the type of skin you have — the oils from your skin can degrade elastic, along with perfumes and deodorants so if you’ve had a particularly sweaty day, then it’s probably best to wash, if
- not, wear for another day.
- To wash the bra and panty set, simply soak it in lukewarm water from 45 minutes to an hour, in the sink or a bowl with a splash of lingerie wash, baby shampoo or if you don’t have those, normal shampoo or a teaspoon of detergent will work fine; the less harsh the better. Keep in mind that if the water is too warm, the elastics in your panties will break down and your panties will shrink. Luckily, cooler water can ‘shock’ elasticized panties closer to their original shape.
- Make sure the set is completely submerged, then leave it for 15–20 minutes, if the bra is slightly soiled, lightly agitate in the water or use a toothbrush to get rid of any stains otherwise it’s fine just staying still, definitely do not rub the bra together.
- After the bra has been soaked, fill the sink or bowl with fresh water and submerge once more, move the bra around a little whilst rinsing under a cold tap to ensure there is no product left in the bra and all the dirt is out. For panties pour a small amount of detergent (about a teaspoon) and gently rub the fabric together to remove any spots or stains.
- If you must toss your panties into the washing machine, remember to always place your panties in a mesh bag (or a knotted pillowcase), with like colors, to ensure your knickers won’t snag and tear.
- Hang dry and never machine dry.
There, now that you ‘ve got some good pointers on how to extend the lifespan of that sexy bra /panty set, let’s go and shop some more.
Babies are born with immature immune systems. As a result, babies tend to get a high number of infections, usually 4 to 8 per year. Babies’ immune systems begin to mature soon after birth. The number of infections begins to go down with time. By the time children are of school-age, their rate of infection is usually the same as the rate for adults.
Path to improved health
Infections come in two main types:
1.bacterial Infection are caused by bacteria.
2.Viral. Viral infections are caused by a virus.
Most children who have repeated infections don’t have any serious problems and grow up to be healthy adults. Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep and eats a healthy diet. Sleep and proper nutrition may be just as important as medicine in helping your child fight off infections.
Sometimes it’s easy to see the cause of repeated infections. In daycare centers, children give infections to each other. They drool and their noses drip. They touch each other and touch all the toys. This spreads infections. Some viruses can live on objects for several hours. As adults we have far less contact with each other’s germs, so we are less likely to catch so many infections.
Exposure to cigarette smoke (sometimes called “passive smoking”) is another cause for runny noses and wheezing in young children. Passive smoking is linked to asthma in children. It is also a risk factor for respiratory infection in children. This makes it important to keep all children away from cigarette or cigar smoke.
Structural changes in the sinuses or the eustachian tubes (connecting tubes in each ear) are a common cause of repeated infections in children. The term “structural changes” refers to differences in the bony parts of the skull, the sinuses, and the ears. These differences may be inherited. Some differences in body structure make it easier for a person to get infections because the normal drainage of the eustachian tube (in the ear) or sinuses (in the nose) is blocked. When the drainage is blocked, the number of bacteria grows. This leads to infection. In most children, as the head grows, drainage problems get better. If young children are having too many ear infections, they might need antibiotics or special ear tubes.
Allergy and asthma can also cause repeated sinusitis (stuffy or drippy nose) and wheezing. Allergies can cause inflammation inside the nose that lasts for a long time. Because of the inflammation, the normal drainage pathways of the nose and sinuses swell and get plugged up. Bacteria grow, causing an infection. Medicine is necessary to treat the cause of the infection, which is the allergy.
Persistent coughing and wheezing that occurs with mild viral infections may be a sign of asthma. Sometimes when we think children have pneumonia as a complication of a cold, they really have asthma. These children need asthma medicine in addition to other medicine for infection.
In some cases, the answer is chance alone. In rare cases, an otherwise healthy child will have 2 or 3 severe infections for no obvious reason. However, your doctor may want your child to have some simple screening tests to check for an immune deficiency (a weakness in the immune system). This is the main cause of repeated severe infections.
Things to consider
Most doctors become concerned if children go from simple viral infections to more complicated and severe bacterial infections. Examples are blood infections and pneumonia. Unusual infections or an increase in the number of infections over time are other warning signs.
If you have a family history of allergies and asthma, you may want to have your doctor check your child for these conditions.
What can I do to prevent repeated infections in my child?
- Wash your hands and your child’s hands often. Wash after using the bathroom and when preparing food. Also wash after sneezing, blowing your nose, and coughing. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
- If you smoke, stop. Until you quit completely, smoke only outside of your home and outside of your car. Smoking in a room away from your child does not help. Air filters also do not help protect your child from secondhand smoke.
- Vaccinate your child against common childhood diseases. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends immunizing all children and adolescents 0-18 years of age unless contraindicated.
What should I not do to treat an infection in my child?
- Don’t use ear candles. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises against the use of ear candles. Ear candling involves inserting a special candle in the ear. It is supposed to pull wax and debris out of your ear as it burns. Ear candles can cause serious injuries and there is no evidence to support their effectiveness.
The health effects of air pollution imperil human lives. So, you have trouble sleeping? Air pollution in your bedroom could be the reason you suffer from insomnia. If the air in your bedroom isn’t as sparkling clean and clear as the freshest mountain breeze, it’s quite likely that you will suffer from insomnia. The clever […]
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When people see the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), many associate this with the armed forces or war veterans. PTSD was indeed first recognised in soldiers returning from war, but today the condition can be diagnosed in anyone who has experienced trauma. When someone experiences a traumatic event in their lives, such as a sudden death in […]
A lot of business leaders and managers are talking about mental health at work, which is great because it raises awareness of this important topic. But, not so many people are talking about how ‘they’ are often the main cause of mental illness and distress in the workplace. Think about it. Who impacts the wellbeing […]
Can you answer this question?
YESSSSSS!!!!!! Mental health is now starting to get more recognition as we progress as a society. Although, there is still a lot of work to be done we are now acknowledging it. The stigma behind mental health just blows my mind: “Mental health, mannnn you don’t know what it’s like to struggle.” “Stop complaining, stop […]
Sugar consumption has been linked to be the cause of multifarious lifestyle diseases that has cost many people to loose their health to the cold hands of sickness and death.
According to https://articles.mercola.com/sugar-side-effects.aspx,
Today, an average American consumes about 17.4 teaspoons of sugar per day, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.1 While this is down by about a fourth since 1999, when Americans’ sugar consumption was at its peak,2 It is still significantly higher than the 12 teaspoons that the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020, has set.3
This is definitely alarming, considering the average Englishman in the 1700s consumed only 4 pounds of sugar per year4 — and that was mostly from healthful natural sources like fruits, quite unlike the processed foods you see in supermarket shelves today.
What’s even more disturbing is that people are consuming excessive sugar in the form of fructose or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This highly processed form of sugar is cheaper to produce, yet 20 percent sweeter than regular table sugar, which is why many food and beverage manufacturers decided to use it in their products.
HFCS is found in almost all types of processed foods and drinks today. Just take a look at this infographic to see just how much fructose is hiding in some of the most common foods you eat.
Sugar, in my opinion, is one of the most damaging substances that you can ingest — and what’s terrifying about it is that it’s very abundant in our everyday diet. This intense addiction to sugar is becoming rampant, not just among adults, but in children as well.
The bad news is that the human body is not made to consume excessive amounts of sugar, especially in the form of fructose. In fact, your body metabolizes fructose differently than sugar. As explained in the next section, it is actually a hepatotoxin and is metabolized directly into fat — factors that can cause a whole host of problems that can have far-reaching effects on your health.
Effects of Consuming Too Much Sugar
Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of clinical pediatrics in the division of endocrinology in the University of California and a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism, says that your body can safely metabolize at least 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
But since most Americans are consuming about three times that amount, a majority of the excess sugar becomes metabolized into body fat — leading to all the debilitating chronic metabolic diseases that many people are struggling with. Here are some of the effects that excessive sugar intake has on your health:
•It overloads and damages your liver — The effects of too much sugar or fructose can be likened to the effects of alcohol.5 All the fructose you eat gets shuttled to the only organ that has the transporter for it: your liver. This severely taxes and overloads the organ, leading to potential liver damage.
•It tricks your body into gaining weight and affects your insulin and leptin signaling — Fructose fools your metabolism by turning off your body’s appetite-control system. It fails to stimulate insulin, which in turn fails to suppress ghrelin, or “the hunger hormone,” which then fails to stimulate leptin or “the satiety hormone.”6 This causes you to eat more and develop insulin resistance.
•It causes metabolic dysfunction — Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms known as classic metabolic syndrome.7 These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL cholesterol levels, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides and high blood pressure.
•It increases your uric acid levels — High uric acid levels8 are a risk factor for heart and kidney disease. In fact, the connection between fructose, metabolic syndrome and your uric acid is now so clear that your uric acid level can now be used as a marker for fructose toxicity.
Sugar Increases Your Risk of Disease
One of the most severe effects of eating too much sugar is its potential to damage your liver, leading to a condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).9
Yes, the same disease that you can get from excessive alcohol intake can also be caused by excessive sugar (fructose) intake. Lustig explains the three similarities between alcohol and fructose:10
•Your liver metabolizes alcohol the same way as sugar — Both serve as substrates for converting dietary carbohydrate into fat. This promotes insulin resistance, fatty liver and dyslipidemia (abnormal fat levels in your blood).
•Fructose undergoes the Maillard reaction with proteins — This causes superoxide free radicals to form, resulting in inflammation — a condition that can be also caused by acetaldehyde, a metabolite of ethanol.
•Fructose can directly and indirectly stimulate the brain’s “hedonic pathway” — This creates habituation and dependence, the same way that ethanol does.
Additionally, research from some of America’s most respected institutions now confirms that sugar is a primary dietary factor that drives obesity and chronic disease development.
One study found that fructose is readily used by cancer cells to increase their proliferation, promoting cell division and speeding their growth, which allow the cancer to spread faster.11
Alzheimer’s disease is another deadly illness that can arise from too much sugar consumption. A growing body of research found a powerful connection between a high-fructose diet and your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, through the same pathway that causes Type 2 diabetes. According to some experts, Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders may be caused by the constant burning of glucose for fuel by your brain.12
Other diseases that are linked to metabolic syndrome and may potentially arise because of too much sugar consumption include:
•Polycystic ovarian syndrome15.
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People smoking and drinking less helped bring the rate down, as have medications, like statins, researchers say.