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What Is The Male Pill And Does The New Contraceptive Jab Really Work?

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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.

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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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