THE contraception industry could be transformed after breakthroughs in a number of male options.
There are currently only two recommended methods of contraception for men, compared to 13 for women, but what exactly is the male contraceptive pill and jab?
Getty Images The male pill is only five years away thanks to a new groundbreaking study
What is the male contraceptive pill and how does it work?
The male pill is a form of contraception similar to the female pill, but with one catch: it doesn’t formally exist yet.
However, it could be just under five years away thanks to groundbreaking research by British scientists.
Researchers at Wolverhampton University revealed they discovered a way to stop sperm swimming. Tiny compounds switch off the sperm’s ability to wiggle, meaning it can’t reach the female egg to fertilise it and cause pregnancy.
Tests have already shown impressive results.
Alamy After ejaculation, sperm race to the egg to the fertilise it
It’s hoped live animal testing will be able to begin in just two to three years – and with new drugs typically able to reach the market in three to five years after animal tests, the male pill could be available as soon as 2021.
However, the final contraceptive may not be a pill at all – researchers say it’s “too early” to tell if it will be available as a pull, nasal spray or even a sub-skin implant.
Scientists have revealed a pioneering new treatment that is a gel that’s injected into a man’s nether regions – blocking sperm and mimicking the effects of a vasectomy.
In January 2018 it was reported that a birth control pill for men has been developed using the poison in darts that can fell an elephant.
What is the male contraceptive jab and how does it work?
The male contraceptive jab is a hormone-based injection developed by World Health Organisation researchers in Geneva, Switzerland.
It was revealed after a year-long trial on 320 men found that 96 per cent of couples relying on it to prevent unplanned pregnancies found it to be effective.
The injections contained a long-acting form of progestogen, a hormone that has the effect of blocking sperm production controlled by the pituitary gland – lowering sperm count.
Despite being found almost 100 per cent effective, more work needs to be done to address the side effects which include depression, mood disorders, muscle pain, acne and increased libido.
They caused 20 men to drop out of the trial, including one case of depression, an intentional paracetamol overdose and a case of irregular heart rate.
Experts say the study was effective in proving that it is possible to develop a hormonal contraceptive for men – but it cannot be made widely available until the side effects are addressed.
Getty Images There are several different options to women, but only two recommended contraceptives for men
What other male contraceptives are being researched?
There are lots of ongoing projects but the NHS say there are two particularly “promising” avenues of research.
One is the RISUG, which uses a technique called reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance. This is when non-toxic synthetic chemicals are injected into the vas deferens, the tube that sperm pass through on their way to the penis. The chemical then reacts and blocks the tube, killing sperm when they come into contact with it.
A variation of this technique is the IVD, which involves injecting a “plug” into the vas deferens. It then filters out sperm as it passes through and can be removed later.
What male contraceptives are available right now?
The NHS say are only two formal methods of contraception available to men right now: using condoms or having a vasectomy.
Condoms act as a barrier after ejaculation, stopping sperm reaching and fertilising an egg. They are the only way to prevent the spread of STIs.
A vasectomy is a usually permanent surgical procedure which stops sperm being ejaculated from the penis during sex.
Some men also use the “withdrawal method” in a bid to stop their partners getting pregnant, but it is not a recommended method of contraception. It involves men pulling their penis out of their partner’s vagina before ejaculating – but can be ineffective as sperm can be released from the penis before ejaculation.
Shocked Mum Shares Photo Revealing The Truth About How Much Sugar In One Creme Egg
WE all know Easter chocolate, or any chocolate in fact, is laden with sugar.
But the amount of sugar in one Creme Egg almost amounts to your entire recommended daily intake.
Facebook This photo was shared on a Facebook group to show how much sugar is in one Creme Egg
And it’s worse if your kids are eating them because they are supposed to be eating a lot less sugar.
One concerned mum has shared a picture of a pile of sugar next to one of the eggs on Facebook group The Little Red Hut Home & Gifts to highlight just how much of the sweet stuff is in the treat.
She placed a two pence coin next to the massive pile to show just how big it was with the caption: “This amount of sugar in ONE cream egg?? Surely not……crikey!”
A Cadbury Creme Egg contains a whopping 26 grams of sugar, that’s five teaspoons based on a teaspoon of sugar being five grams.
There are five teaspoons of sugar in one Cadbury Creme Egg
To put that into perspective, an adult should be eating no more than seven teaspoons of sugar per day.
Children should only be eating between three and six teaspoons, depending on their age, so one Creme Egg could easily surpass their daily sugar allowance.
Chels Thornley, 25, who commented on the picture, told The Sun Online: “It was shocking that that amount of sugar can be in one small egg, but I don’t eat them every day, just every so often.
“My kids tried them once and didn’t like them, they like chocolate but prefer fruit if given the option.
Getty – Contributor Eating too much sugar can cause obesity which increases your risk of heart attack and stroke
“I don’t drink fizzy drink or have sugar in tea so I don’t have a lot of sugar.
“I’ll probably continue to have one every so often because there good.”
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Other commenters also voiced their shock at the amount of sugar in the egg but said they would still continue to eat them.
So how does a Creme Egg compare to other sugar laden treats?
A can of Coke contains seven teaspoons of sugar, that’s just two more than a Creme Egg.
And a regular 45g Cadbury dairy milk bar contains also contains 26 grams of sugar, making it more than 50 per cent sugar.
Eating excessive amounts of sugar comes with an array of health risks linked to obesity.
Those who are overweight are more at risk of type 2 diabetes, which comes with the risk of complications including heart attack, stroke and diseases.
Getty – Contributor Eating too much sugar has also been linked to diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of the disease – accounting for between 85 and 95 per cent of all cases, according to Diabetes UK.
It is usually associated with obesity and occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood glucose level.
Carrying excess weight around your tummy, a common side effect of eating too much sugar, increases your risk of the disease because it releases chemicals that can upset the body’s metabolism.
Studies have also linked excessive consumption of sugary treats to Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
Recently some NHS hospitals banned the sale of sugary drinks and treats in a bid to crack down on rising obesity levels.
And Public Health England has urged parents to limit their kids treats to two 11-calorie snacks a day in a bid to curb the amount of sugar they consume.
So just how much sugar should you be eating?
It is generally recommended that sugar intakes should only be about five per cent of your daily energy intake.
So that means no more than seven teaspoons per day for the average adult – the equivalent to a small glass of fruit juice and a flavoured yoghurt each day.
Here’s how much sugar your kid should be eating
Children should be consuming far less than that.
Kids aged two and under should have just 3 teaspoons per day, kids aged three to six should have no more than four teaspoons a day and kids between seven and ten should have no more than six teaspoons.
Earlier this year research revealed that kids in the UK were eating 20 chocolate chip biscuits worth of sugar every day.
Women Are Putting Valium In Their Vaginas To Ease Pain, But There’s No Evidence It Works, Top Doc Warns
WOMEN are trying to combat pain “down there” by putting Valium IN their vaginas.
Just when you thought you’d heard it all, it seems some are using suppositories to try and ease pelvic pain.
Getty – Contributor Studies have shown that putting Valium in your vagina won’t ease pelvic pain
But one gynaecologist has warned there is no evidence they work, and any pain relief women feel is simply a placebo.
A Valium suppository is a a small, cone-shaped capsule that you put inside your body, most often in the bottom.
Once it’s inserted it slowly dissolves to release the medication inside, helping to ease the symptoms of the condition it was prescribed for.
But putting Valium, the brand name for the drug, diazepam, into your vagina won’t have the effect you are looking for, according to Dr Jen Gunter.
Alamy A Valium suppository is a a small, cone-shaped capsule that you put inside your body that slowly dissolves to release the medication
“Diazepam works on GABA receptors which are located in the central nervous system – brain and spinal cord – not the vagina,” the Canadian-based gynaecologist wrote on her blog.
“If women ‘feel better’ after using the product vaginally it is either placebo effect or the fact that the diazepam is being absorbed into the blood stream and they are feeling the effects of diazepam on the brain.”
Dr Gunter referred to three studies that have looked at whether Valium suppositories can help with pelvic pain.
One study looked at 49 women with a hypertonic pelvic floor – muscle spasms – and pelvic pain.
Getty – Contributor Women are prescribed Valium suppositories for pelvic muscle spasms and other pain
It split the women into two groups, one which was given a placebo and one which was given 10mg of Valium vaginally.
At the end of the trial there was no difference in the pain scores between the two groups.
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Another study of 21 women also yielded the same results.
The third study of 26 women given no placebo found that vaginal Valium helped with pain.
But those women were also treated with physical therapy and trigger point injections, meaning it is impossible to tell if their pain relief was solely down to the suppositories.
Getty – Contributor Anything you put in your intimate area should be approved by a doctor first
“It is our job as medical professionals to do the right thing and prescribing a medical therapy that can’t work based biology, pharmacology and now two prospective clinical trials is not the right thing,” Dr Gunter continued.
“There are sadly few good quality prospective clinical trials in pelvic pain and so we do a great disservice to both our patients and to medicine when we ignore the few that do exist.
“Not knowing what to offer is not a license to offer the wrong thing. Our patients deserve better than that.”
What Is Strep Throat, What Are The Symptoms, Can It Be Treated With Antibiotics And Is It Contagious?
SORE throats can be very painful, but unfortunately are quite common.
Here’s everything you need to know about strep throat, which is a frequent throat infection.
Getty – Contributor Although painful, strep throat is usually nothing to worry about
What is strep throat?
Strep throat is the shortened term for streptococcal pharyngitis, which is an infection at the back of the throat and tonsils.
It is responsible for 15 to 40 per cent of sore throats among children, and five to 15 per cent among adults.
Outbreaks often occur in late winter and early spring, but it is a risk all year round.
Although it’s an unpleasant condition, it’s usually not dangerous and there are ways to easing symptoms.
Common symptoms include pus on the tonsils
What are the symptoms?
The typical signs and symptoms include:
Sore throat Fever above 38C Pus on the tonsils
However, people can also suffer from headaches, nausea, or vomiting in some cases.
Symptoms begin one to three days after initial exposure, and last seven to ten days.
Can it be treated with antibiotics?
It can be cleared up faster with antibiotics, and are normally prescribed if your doctor is concerned that it may turn into something more dangerous, such as rheumatic fever.
Antibiotics decrease the duration of symptoms to around one day, and also make you less contagious.
Over the counter pain killers such as paracetamol are also recommended to ease symptoms.
Other ways to soothe your throat are gargling salt water, keeping hydrated, rest, and eating cool and soft foods, such as ice cream.
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