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Our top stories from November 2016 

Global Women launch The Purple Tent


 

In 2017, Global Women Connected are pleased to announce the launch The Purple Tent – a gathering of women who wish to explore their life journey and celebrate womanhood.  The first events will take place in London and Saffron Walden.  Read more...

Women's Health News  - Four of our top stories 

Sleep can affect male infertility


Sleeping too little or too much can affect a man’s fertility, new research suggests.

A study was conducted among 790 couples and researchers found that sleeping less than 6 hours or more than 9 hours per night can reduce the possibility of pregnancy. It has been suggested that the ideal sleeping pattern is between 7-8 hours.

All of the couples in the study were trying to conceive for no more than six menstrual cycles. The couples answered questions about sleep patterns and whether they had trouble sleeping.

According to the findings, men who slept less than 6 hours and more than 9 hours per night had a 42 percent less probability of pregnancy in any month, compared to men who did not have poor sleep duration.


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'Three person babies' grow up into healthy teenagers

More than 15 years ago, seventeen babies were conceived through an experimental infertility treatment -called ooplasmic transplantation- that gave them DNA from three people: mom, dad and an egg donor.

Ooplasmic transplantation involves removing some of the cytoplasm -the liquid part of an egg cell containing the mitochondria- from a healthy donor egg and injecting it in to the mother’s egg.

The infertility treatments took place between 1996 and 2001 on 33 couples who failed to conceive after five IVF attempts.

All children matured with regular health and cognitive abilities, according to Dr Jacques Cohen who reported his results in the journal Reproductive Biomedicine. 

 

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Ectopic pregnancies: revised guidelines
 

An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that grows outside the womb and puts a woman’s life at risk.  Most ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tubes, but 3-5% of ectopic pregnancies occur in other places such as the cervix or neck of the womb, ovary or abdomen.

Risk factors for ectopic pregnancy include a previous ectopic pregnancy, tubal damage following surgery or infection, an intrauterine device, the progesterone-only pill, smoking, advanced maternal age and IVF. However, the majority of women with an ectopic pregnancy have no identifiable risk factor.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Association of Early Pregnancy Units (APEU) revised the guideline on ectopic pregnancies aiming at further reducing the number of women who lose their lives from the condition.
 

 

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Modernisation of gender roles affects women's health
 

Globally men have a higher burden of disease and lower life expectancy than women. But with the modernisation of gender roles,  equality for women means that women’s health starts to resemble that of men.

This post is a brief summary of a talk I went to this week by Dr Sarah Hawkes, Institute of Global Health, University College London who is part of the Gender and Global Health Centre.

The World Health Organization defines gender as “socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women”.

Sarah’s team have analysed the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, looking at the global top ten DALYs (disability adjusted life year) – which is a measure of overall disease burden. This shows that currently men are affected more than women for every cause, with death due to road injury being 3 times higher in men (graph below).

 

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Features  - Two of our top features 

Fertility Education in schools:  A teenagers perspective
 

 

By Phoebe Thornhill

As a current sixth-form student, I am well-acquainted with the format of sex education in secondary schools.

The single take-home message is: ‘Don’t have unprotected sex because you’ll get pregnant, get an STI, sexually transmitted infection or both.’ I think that this needs to change. Not only does this message instil fear and paranoia among teenagers, but it also ignores many other important aspects of sexual and reproductive health – in particular fertility.

 

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Precision medicine



Precision medicine is a growing field as we have realised that for the treatment of some diseases, we cannot have one size fits all.  In precision medicine, treatment is tailored to the individual patient.  Precision medicine can be affected by the patients genetic background, their lifestyle and their environment.  Patients have  specific diagnostic testing, usually a genetic test, to select the optimum treatment.

In medicine we usually start with a disorder and have tried to figure out what was causing it and what genes are affected.  DNA sequencing is a major part of precision medicine and allows us to work the other way around.  We can take a large number of genomes  and link them to symptoms and treatment.  We call this the use of ‘big data’.

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Discussion of the day - Lets get talking

Is homeopathy nothing other than treating people with placebos?

Homeopathy is based on the belief that “like cures like” and millions of people have trusted it in its 200-year-old history.

Researchers at the University of Exeter claim that their trials failed to show that homeopathy is more than a placebo. They also said the most reliable of the 230 published trials they reviewed were also not positive. Studies with animals confirmed the results obtained on humans.

According to Australian National Health and Medical Research Council homeopathy is not effective for treating any condition and people may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness.

However, millions of enthusiasts of homeopathy  claim that it has excellent results. Also, the  doctors that prescribe  homeopathic treatments claim that in  homeopathy you do  not  treat  the  disease  but  the  individual and thus studies  like  the ones  mentioned  before  are not  valid.

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Would you raise your child as a vegan?

 


A vegan is a person who does not eat any food that comes from animals such as meat, fish, eggs or cheese and does not use any animal products like leather. Vegans get all the protein they need from nuts, seeds and cereals.

According to nutritionists, children can get everything they need following a vegan diet, when the parents have the right planning and knowledge. If parents are not well informed, in early childhood there is a risk of vitamin D, calcium, iron and possibly vitamin B12 deficiency.

Protein is a key nutrient for growth and development and is essential in every child’s diet. Protein-rich foods suitable for a vegan diet include a variety of pulses, beans, lentils and grains such as quinoa, nuts and nut butters.

However experts disagree whether  it  is  safe.



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Would you like to be frozen when you die? 

Today in the UK, the high court has ruled that a 14 year old girl who recently died of cancer has the right to be frozen.

The girl, who cannot be named and is simply referred to as JS, sent a letter to the court saying “I have been asked to explain why I want this unusual thing done. I’m only 14 years old and I don’t want to die, but I know I am going to. I think being cryo‐preserved gives me a chance to be cured and woken up, even in hundreds of years’ time. I don’t want to be buried underground. I want to live and live longer and I think that in the future they might find a cure for my cancer and wake me up. I want to have this chance. This is my wish.”

Only a few hundred people have been through the process and it is unknown if thawing will ever be successful.

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Have you ever broken a bone?

 

 

We have 206 bones in our bodies that have the potential of being broken.  Broken bones are the most common reason people visit Accident and Emergency.  They can usually be repaired but sometimes can lead to ongoing health issues.

The five most common bones that are broken are:

Clavicle
Arms
Wrist
Ankle
Toe or foot

Have you ever broken a bone?  Did it repair well?  Or do you have any ongoing issues?
 

 

 

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