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What Are The Most Common Sexually Transmitted Infections, How Often Should You Be Tested For Stis And What Are The Symptoms?

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SEXUALLY transmitted diseases are a serious business with some STIs causing infertility, blindness or paralysis if left untreated.

These are the diseases we should all be testing for, and the symptoms to look out for.

Getty Images STIs can be diagnosed using a swab, urine or blood test

What the most common STIs – and what are the symptoms?

1. Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most common STI in the UK – and is easily passed on during unprotected sex.

In 2013, more than 200,000 Brits tested positive for the disease – and nearly 70 per cent of them were under 25.

Most people don’t experience any symptoms, and don’t realise they are infected.

Symptoms can include pain or a burning sensation during sex, and an unusual discharge.

Women might also experience pain in the lower abdomen during or after sex, and bleeding after sex.

In men, chlamydia can also cause a pain or tenderness in the testicles.

Getty Images Chlamydia is the most common STI in the UK, and people under 25 should get tested at least once a year

It is easily treatable with antibiotics but, if left to fester, can make you infertile.

2. HPV

Human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes genital warts, is the second most common STI here in Britain.

There were nearly 74,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012.

The warts are usually painful, but may be itchy or red. Occasionally, they cause bleeding.

HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact, so you can catch it even if you haven’t had penetrative sex – and condoms DON’T provide complete protection.

The virus can be treated with creams and by freezing the warts. HPV vaccines are now offered to all 12/13-year-old girls.

Getty Images People should wear condoms to practice sex safe, but they don’t provide complete protection from HPV – Britain’s second most common STI

3. Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is a bacterial STI – which often has no symptoms.

Half of women and around 10 per cent of men don’t know they are infected.

Nearly 35,000 new cases were reported in England in 2014.

Symptoms include pain or a burning sensation during sex, and an unusual discharge.

Less common symptoms in women include pain in the lower gut and bleeding between periods or after sex.

In men, gonorrhoea can cause swelling in the foreskin and, in rare cases, pain in the testicles.

It is easily treatable with antibiotics but, if left to fester, can make you infertile.

4. Herpes

Genital herpes in a common infection caused by HSV virus, which also causes cold sores.

Some 32,000 new cases were diagnosed in 2013.

The symptoms can develop a few days after contact and include small, painful blisters which itch or tingle – and can make it difficult to urinate.

Herpes is not treatable, but can be controlled with antiviral medicines.

After the initial flare up, the virus will remain dormant most of the time – but it is still possible to infect others.

Getty Images Syphilis is Britain’s fastest growing STI

5. Syphilis

Syphilis is bacterial infection which causes painless – but highly infectious – sores on the genitals and around the mouth.

These last for up to six weeks after infection, before disappearing.

It’s the most serious STI on this list but, worryingly, is Britain’s fastest growing sexual infection – with experts blaming the rise of dating apps.

Symptoms for the second stage of syphilis include a rash, flu-like illness and patchy hair loss – which will last for a few weeks.

In the third stage, which occurs after several years, people with syphilis may experience heart problems, paralysis and blindness.

The infection can be treated with a course of antibiotics – which are normally taken for two to four weeks.

Getty Images Get tested for STIs at a sexual health clinic, GUM clinic or GP surgery

What else?

Other less common STIs – which you may want to get tested for – include HIV, trichomoniasis, pubic lice (crabs) or scabies (mites).

How often should you be tested for STIs?

You can be tested for STIs at a sexual health clinic, GUM clinic or GP surgery. Find your nearest clinic, and its opening hours, here.

Sexually active adults under the age of 25 are advised to test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea at least once a year – and whenever you get a new sexual partner.

You are also advised to have yearly HIV tests if you have changed your sexual partner since your last test.

Health

Bedbugs ‘increase Your Risk Of Allergic Reactions And Deadly Asthma Attacks’ Even After They Are Gone

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BEDBUGS are a nasty pest that no one wants in their house.

But even when they are gone they leave traces behind that can cause allergic reactions and even asthma attacks, new research suggest.

Getty – Contributor Bedbug poo is full of histamine, which cause allergy symptoms in people

Not only do the creepy crawlies bite you while you’re sleeping, they also poop in your bed.

It’s that poop that causes problems long after pest control has been.

The poo is loaded with histamine, a chemical found naturally in your body during allergic reactions.

It is histamine that causes your runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and trouble breathing.

Getty – Contributor Histamine is found naturally in your body during an allergic reaction and causes a runny nose and itchy eyes

The chemical can also cause nasty rashes to appear on your skin and is particularly dangerous for those with underlying lung conditions like asthma because it causes an inflammatory response in your airways.

This can trigger potentially deadly asthma attacks if people are exposed to the chemical.

According to a new study from North Carolina State University histamine levels in bedbug infested homes were at least 20 times higher than in homes that were bug free.

And the levels continue to pose a problem for months after the bedbugs have been booted out.

Getty – Contributor Histamine can be particularly dangerous for people with underlying lung conditions like asthma because it causes an inflammatory response in the airways

In homes that were treated for the pests ,which involves circulating air as hot as 50C through the home, levels remained high.

“The intimate association of bed bugs with humans and the spatial distribution and persistence of histamine in homes suggest that histamine may represent an emergent indoor environmental contaminant whose impact on human health should be investigated,” the authors wrote.

“Bed bugs have become a major social, economic, and health problem since their global resurgence in the early 2000s.

BEAT THE BLOOD SUCKERS How to get rid of bed bugs, what causes an infestation and how to treat bites 

“Infestations can reach exceedingly high levels, especially among the elderly and in disadvantaged communities, where interventions may be unaffordable.

“While bed bug bites have been recognised as a dermatological concern that can be exacerbated and lead to secondary infections, bed bugs have not been implicated as disease vectors or allergen producers.

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Just One Can Of Coke A Day ‘reduces Your Chance Of Becoming Pregnant By 20 Per Cent’

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DRINKING just one sugar-laden drink a day reduces your chance of becoming pregnant by 20 per cent, new research suggests.

Cans of pop have already been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, early menstruation and poor semen quality but now new evidence suggests it also affects both men and women’s probability of conception.

Getty – Contributor Sugar-sweetened drinks have been linked to an array of health problems including obesity, diabetes and infertility

Experts from Boston University of Public Health surveyed 3,828 women aged 21 to 45 living in America and Canada to determine the link between sugar-sweetened drinks and infertility.

They also surveyed 1, 045 of their male partners.

Participants were found through the Pregnancy Online Study, an ongoing internet-based study of US couples.

They were asked to answer questions about their lifestyles, medical history and diet, including their consumption of sweetened drinks.

Getty – Contributor Women who drank more than one fizzy drink a day were 25 per cent less likely to become pregnant

Both the male and female consumption of sugary drinks was associated with an average 20 per cent reduced fecundability – the average monthly probability of becoming pregnant.

Women who drank more than one fizzy drink a day were 25 per cent less likely to become pregnant and men were 33 per cent less likely to be able to get their partner pregnant.

Those who regularly drank energy drinks were even less likely to become pregnant.

The researchers found little association between fruit juice and diet soft drinks.

Lead author Elizabeth Hatch, a professor of epidemiology at the university, said: “We found positive associations between intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and lower fertility, which were consistent after controlling for many other factors, including obesity, caffeine intake, alcohol, smoking, and overall diet quality.

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Keto Breakfast Recipes For A Low Carb Diet – Smoothies And Muffins To Help With Weight Loss

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MANY dieters choose the keto diet for its proven weight-loss results.

The strict diet involves cutting out carbs altogether and replacing them with high fat foods – but what are the best breakfast to eat on the keto diet?

Getty – Contributor The keto diet is a high fat, low carb and moderate protein plan

 

What is the keto diet?

The keto diet involves eating lots of ‘good’ fat, to curb hunger pangs, while cutting out carbs and eating moderate amounts of protein.

It’s said to boost energy levels and help speed up weight loss.

Fat should make up 60-80 per cent of the dieter’s total calories consumed, while protein makes up 10-15 per cent, and carbs less than 10 per cent.

Dieters should also cap their calories at 1,800-a-day – while it can be adapted to suit vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.

Alamy Prosciutto Wrapped Avocado Eggs are a favourite breakfast with keto dieters

What are best breakfast recipes for a low carb diet?

Prosciutto Wrapped Avocado Egg (serves 2) by PaleoHacks

Ingredients:

2 ripe, ready to eat avocados  2 eggs 6 prosciutto slices  2 T olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste  Chopped parsley for garnish Tomato slices for garnish

 

Method:

 

Bring a medium pot of water from low heat to a gentle simmer. Using food-safe plastic wrap, line a small bowl and rub a little bit of olive oil on it. Crack an egg into the lined bowl, pull the sides of the plastic wrap together, and tie a knot. Place the wrapped egg in the simmering water for 3 minutes. Repeat with the other egg.  Remove the eggs from the water and lay on a plate. Cut the plastic wrap open and gently separate the eggs. Set them aside.  Prepare the prosciutto slices by flattening them with a back of a knife.  Halve the avocado and remove outer skin. Scoop out the middle of the avocado so it is the same size as the poached egg. Carefully put the egg inside and enclose with both sides of the avocado.  Wrap the sealed avocado tightly in prosciutto slices, two strips horizontally and one vertically. Repeat the steps for the other egg. Fry the prosciutto-wrapped avocado in olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, starting with the loose ends of the prosciutto first. Turn frequently until the prosciutto is crispy all over. Place on a paper towel to drain the excess oil before serving. Slice the stuffed avocado, sprinkle with salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Serve with tomato slices.

Alamy Bacon-wrapped avocado is really simple to make

 

Bacon Wrapped Avocado Fries (serves two) by PaleoHacks

Ingredients:

 2 avocados 20 strips of pasture-raised bacon

Method:

Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the pits from the avocados and slice the avocado into thin strips lengthwise (5 per half). Wrap each avocado slice with one strip of bacon, and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Alamy Raspberry chia pudding can be topped with all manner of nuts and fruit

Raspberry Chia Pudding (serves 1) by Keto Diet Blog

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk (240 ml/ 8 fl oz) ½ cup water (120 ml/ 4 fl oz) 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (150 g/ 5.3 oz) ½ cup whole chia seeds (76 g/ 2.7 oz) 1 tsp vanilla powder or 2-3 tsp unsweetened vanilla extract

Method:

 

Place the coconut milk, water and raspberries into a blender and pulse until blended. Reserve a few raspberries for topping.  The best coconut milk I’ve tried is Aroy-D. It contains no guar gum and has no aftertaste, it’s only made with Thai coconut and water. Unlike most canned coconut milk products it does not solidify in the fridge and is perfect for making chia seed pudding without making it too thick. Mix the chia seeds, raspberry milk, vanilla and optionally add sweetener. Let it sit for at least 25-30 minutes, ideally overnight in the fridge. Then, spoon into serving glasses. Serve with the reserved raspberries and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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