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April 24-30th was National Infertility Awareness week. Joyce Harper is part of the Fertility Health Education Group who are trying to ensure that we include fertility and pregnancy education in UK schools.   Read the report in The Guardian.  

Some of our most popular posts from April 2016


Women's Health News  - Six of our top stories 

What age should you start to try for a family?

The age of first conception is increasing worldwide.  This is the average age women have their first child.  In the UK it is just over 30 and is increasing every year and will continue to increase as women delay having children so they can finish their education, pursue careers, travel, etc.  Unfortunately as women age our fertility declines, and after the age of 35, there starts to be a significant decline in fertility.   This is due to a decrease in the quality and quantity of eggs, which will continue to decline until we reach the menopause. 
What should you do if you cannot get pregnant?

When trying to get pregnant, the important things to think about are the sperm, ovulation, the age of the woman (over 35 years of age it becomes much harder to get pregnant), the frequency of sex, and are there any medical reasons why you cannot get pregnant. If you have had any pelvic surgery or sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, this may block your fallopian tubes and you should tell your doctor.

We usually recommend that couples try for at least a year before they go to see their doctor as 80% of couples will get pregnant during this time. But this is affected by age – for 19-26 year olds, 92% will be pregnant within a year but this decreases to 82% for women aged 35-39.

Genetic testing:  Finding out about our genetic origin

A significant proportion of fertility treatment is third-party reproduction, involving the use of donor gametes or embryos. Up until now, the use of anonymous donation has prevented thousands of children discovering the identity of their genetic parent. In many cases children might not have been told how they were conceived, and in some circumstances this information is exposed by accident in later life. With the progress in direct-to-consumer genetic testing and the formation of large international genetic genealogy databases, genetic data can be shared and has the potential to allow donor conceived individuals to find out identifying information about their genetic parents, half siblings and other genetic relatives.

Read More....
Sexual attitudes and lifestyle in Britain

Following on from our discussion about who should teach sex – I wanted to share this study with you.

In the Natsal 3 study, 15,162 men and women aged 16-74 between September 2010 and August 2012 were interviewed. This is the third Natsal survey that has been carried out in Britain.  The first was done in 1990.

The graph above shows that over the three studies there has been an increase in same sex experiences.

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The number of women freezing their eggs triples in 5 years

“The report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the first to track trends in egg freezing, shows rising numbers of women attempting egg storage, in the hope of starting a family later in life.

Two thirds of women who underwent the treatment last year were under 37, the figures show, with the lack of a partner the most common reason cited for opting for egg freezing.”

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How are pills containing hormones made?

Have you ever wondered how the contraceptive pill or HRT tablets are made? Where do the hormones come from that are in the pills?

The words can be totally confusing.  You probably want to take ‘natural’ hormones but all hormone pills are created in a lab and most are made from ‘natural’ sources, including plants and other animals.

The important definitions for pills containing hormones relate to how they work on the body – there are synthetic hormones and bioidentical hormones.

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Discussion of the day - Lets get talking

Why are 'we' so obsessed with popping pimples?

Dr Sandra Lee – or The Pimple Popper – has her own YouTube channel extracting blackheads, popping pimples and opening up cysts. She is raking in the money as many people are obsessed with these gruesome videos. Admittedly I have seen them once or twice and it’s a combination of curiosity and “OH MY ***, this can’t be true!!”


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Who should teach sex education?

As you can see from the graph above - most people learn about sex from school, followed by friends but they would rather learn from school and parents.  This data is from the Natsal-3 study which interviewed 3408 men and women, aged 17–24 years, from 2010–2012 for third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles.


What is the most difficult part about being a working Mum?

Athena Swan was developed to help working parents in higher education juggle work and home life;  “recognising advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.”

Juggling work:life balance is very difficult but even more so for working Mums as we are experiencing a huge culture change. Chances are that your mother did do many of the things you have a chance to do.

But can we have it all?  What do you find is the hardest thing being a working Mum?

Can decluttering change your life?

Clutter can distract you and it invites chaos in everyday  life.  However, tackling the clutter can  be  a  huge task, especially  if  you are  not  the  “tidy” type.  Clutter  is  not  only  the piles  of  old  clothes, unread books, broken toys and old  shoes, often our lives are full of  commitments we  do  not  need  to  take, relationships  that  do  not  meet our  needs and  all the things we need to do at home, work, family etc.

Is getting rid of the clutter in your life important  to  you?


News in brief - Short summaries of women's health news 

Today in the UK, a woman was sentenced for the crime of an abortion

A 19 year old girl from Ireland “desperately tried to save up enough money to travel to England to have an abortion, but wasn’t able to. Left with no other choice and trapped in Northern Ireland, she bought abortion pills online and performed a DIY abortion on herself at home. Her housemates found blood-stained items and foetal remains in a bin and reported her to the police.”

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Adele speaks out about against the pressure to breastfeed

The famous singer defended moms who decide not to breastfeed, saying “It’s hard. Some of us can’t do it”. Adele, whose son Angelo is 3 years old, made her comments after celebrity chef Jamie Oliver recently announced his plans for a new campaign to get more mothers to breastfeed.


Inspiring Stories - Women overcoming obstacles

Mother hears dead sons heart beat in the transplant recipient for the first time 

A mother has heard her son’s heartbeat for the first time since his death after she met with the man who received his heart in a life-saving transplant operation.

Lisa Swanson’s 18-year-old son Levi Schulz died in a car crash in December 2012. Three days later Terry Hooper, who had been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, received the teenager’s heart in a transplant.

Read More....

88 year old, Iva, this years oldest London Marathon runner

Iva Barr is this year’s oldest marathon runner at the age of 88, with this being her 20th time running in London. She is really proving to the world that age need not be a barrier when it comes to exercise.

We’ll certainly be cheering her on!



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