We should all definitely drink less!!

Lifestyle changes remain key in stopping a lot of the illnesses that are on the increase worldwide.

What will it take for you to reduce your drinking or even stop altogether?

A cancer diagnosis??

The Chief Medical Officer of UK has issued new guidelines on alcohol and the diseases it can cause. 

Take a look!

Prevention is better than cure!

  
  

Top Ten Women health issues

imageWe’ve come a long way since 1995–and it is time to celebrate women and their achievements. But it is also time to take stock of how women’s rights are fulfilled in the world –especially the right to health. Twenty years after countries signed pledges in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, women still face many health problems and we must re-commit to addressing them.

Here are ten of the main issues regarding women’s health that keep me awake at night:

Cancer: Two of the most common cancers affecting women are breast and cervical cancers. Detecting both these cancers early is key to keeping women alive and healthy. The latest global figures show that around half a million women die from cervical cancer and half a million from breast cancer each year. The vast majority of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries where screening, prevention and treatment are almost non-existent, and where vaccination against human papilloma virus needs to take hold.

Reproductive health: Sexual and reproductive health problems are responsible for one third of health issues for women between the ages of 15 and 44 years. Unsafe sex is a major risk factor – particularly among women and girls in developing countries. This is why it is so important to get services to the 222 million women who aren’t getting the contraception services they need.

Maternal health: Many women are now benefitting from massive improvements in care during pregnancy and childbirth introduced in the last century. But those benefits do not extend everywhere and in 2013, almost 300 000 women died from complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these deaths could have been prevented, had access to family planning and to some quite basic services been in place.

HIV: Three decades into the AIDS epidemic, it is young women who bear the brunt of new HIV infections. Too many young women still struggle to protect themselves against sexual transmission of HIV and to get the treatment they require. This also leaves them particularly vulnerable to tuberculosis – one of the leading causes of death in low-income countries of women 20–59 years.

Sexually transmitted infections: I’ve already mentioned the importance of protecting against HIV and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection (the world’s most common STI). But it is also vital to do a better job of preventing and treating diseases like gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis. Untreated syphilis is responsible for more than 200,000 stillbirths and early foetal deaths every year, and for the deaths of over 90 000 newborns.

Violence against women: Women can be subject to a range of different forms of violence, but physical and sexual violence – either by a partner or someone else – is particularly invidious. Today, one in three women under 50 has experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a partner, or non-partner sexual violence – violence which affects their physical and mental health in the short and long-term. It’s important for health workers to be alert to violence so they can help prevent it, as well as provide support to people who experience it.

Mental health: Evidence suggests that women are more prone than men to experience anxiety, depression, and somatic complaints – physical symptoms that cannot be explained medically. Depression is the most common mental health problem for women and suicide a leading cause of death for women under 60. Helping sensitise women to mental health issues, and giving them the confidence to seek assistance, is vital.

Noncommunicable diseases: In 2012, some 4.7 million women died from noncommunicable diseases before they reached the age of 70 —most of them in low- and middle-income countries. They died as a result of road traffic accidents, harmful use of tobacco, abuse of alcohol, drugs and substances, and obesity — more than 50% of women are overweight in Europe and the Americas. Helping girls and women adopt healthy lifestyles early on is key to a long and healthy life.

Being young: Adolescent girls face a number of sexual and reproductive health challenges: STIs, HIV, and pregnancy. About 13 million adolescent girls (under 20) give birth every year. Complications from those pregnancies and childbirth are a leading cause of death for those young mothers. Many suffer the consequences of unsafe abortion.

Getting older: Having often worked in the home, older women may have fewer pensions and benefits, less access to health care and social services than their male counterparts. Combine the greater risk of poverty with other conditions of old age, like dementia, and older women also have a higher risk of abuse and generally, poor health.

When I lie awake thinking of women and their health globally, I remind myself: the world has made a lot of progress in recent years. We know more, and we are getting better at applying our knowledge. At providing young girls a good start in life.

And there has been an upsurge in high-level political will – evidenced most recently in the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. Use of services, especially those for sexual and reproductive health, has increased in some countries. Two important factors that influence women’s health – namely, school enrolment rates for girls and greater political participation of women – have risen in many parts of the world.

But we are not there yet. In 2015, in too many countries, “women’s empowerment” remains a pipedream – little more than a rhetorical flourish added to a politician’s speech. Too many women are still missing out on the opportunity to get educated, support themselves, and obtain the health services they need, when they need them.

That’s why WHO is working so hard to strengthen health systems and ensure that countries have robust financing systems and sufficient numbers of well-trained, motivated health workers. That’s why WHO, with UN and world partners, are coming together at the UN Commission on Status of Women from 9-20 March 2015 in New York. We will look again at pledges made in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action with a view to renewing the global effort to remove the inequalities that put decent health services beyond so many women’s reach.

And that is why WHO and its partners are developing a new global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health, and working to enshrine the health of women in the post 2015 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This means not only setting targets and indicators, but catalysing commitments in terms of policy, financing and action, to ensure that the future will bring health to all women and girls – whoever they are, wherever they live.

Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health through the Life-course, World Health Organization,

Register for the Afrocaribbean health event here http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebration-of-afro-caribbean-health-wellness-registration-16119556026
-99% of attendees felt the Afrocaribbean health event was worthwhile and met their specific needs.

Of bras, bra-fitters and skin cancer.

One of our readers sent in this article and asked me to share it on the SWN to help other women. I chuckled as I read the first part because I am one of those who have never used a bra fitter…I just sort of estimated what size will work for me and went for it. But it makes sense to get properly fitted and in many shops, this service is free.

She wrote: I will be grateful if you would post this on your blog, Sexual Wellbeing Network. It was my personal experience but I will like to remain anonymous.

I am one of those women who get into the shops and buy a bra that just fits. I then stick to that size. Recently I had a really scary experience when I noticed a scar on my breast. It started with one of my bras being a bit tight, so the iron in the bra was pressing a bit to the sides of my breast.

I eventually changed my bra but after a couple of years, just recently this scar became a bit itchy and I had to go to the hospital. The first thing the male doctor said was ”We need to have further tests as this may just have developed into skin cancer. To cut a long story short I had my biopsies and got the all clear but I need to pass this one to our ladies so you can take better care of yourselves.
Always go for a bra fitting and ensure you are given the right bra size. The bra fitting assistance will help you to choose the right size. Your breasts should fit fully into your bra and the bra should not sit too tightly on your breast as this could potentially damage your breast cells.

Personally I had never had a bra fitting until after this experience.
Wash your bra atleast after every three days.

Include lots of white bras in your collection so you can easily spot dirt and avoid breast eczema which may prove difficult to heal.

Do not use a washing machine to wash your bras, hand wash is recommended.
The straps on your bra should not be used in supporting your breast. Your breast is supported by the right cups in the bra.

A finger should go smoothly in between your bra straps.

Many thanks to the lady who sent this in.

A few additional notes from Dr Adaeze;

Some studies say that poorly fitted bras contribute to breast cancer by blocking the lymph vessels that would normally carry toxic waste away from the breast area. But other studies dispute this.

In case you are wondering why you should hand wash rather than use a washing machine, hand washing helps to preserve the shape and life span of the bra so that it works more effectively.

Poorly fitted bras can also cause back pains, headaches and neck pain as the weight of the breasts is not evenly distributed.

Click here to register for the Afrocarribean health event in Aberdeen on the 25th of October 2014.

Click here to get ‘Understanding Contraception’ our best selling fun and informative book

Another survivor speaks out: Lovely Nevo Burrell on surviving breast cancer.

Nevo Burrell

Nevo talks us through finding out that she had breast cancer and the impact it had on her life. We often think cancer is confined to someone or some people out there. It can be an eye opener to find it so close. Especially in someone relatively young.

 

How often do you check your breasts?
What is your reaction when you find a bump where there should be none?
Do you ignore it and hope it goes away?

We are very pleased at the Sexual Wellbeing Network that beautiful Nevo Burrell has so generously shared her story to encourage other women to be breast aware.
Watch the video below and feel free to share with others.
The Sexual Wellbeing Network community celebrates Nevo Burrell and wish her many more years of fulfillment in her work.Sexual wellbeing network, Nevo Burrell.

Nevo works as an Image Consultant and Personal shopper. A typical consultation consists of colour analysis (ascertaining the best colours that work well with the individual’s natural colouring), styling (identifying the body shape / physique and advising how to dress) – also looking at face shapes and advising on appropriate hairstyles, glasses, wardrobe planning, de-cluttering and personal shopping amongst other things. She can be contacted on nevo@nevoconcept.com and phone number  +44(0)7961 175 938

Click below to hear how brave Nevo survived breast cancer. You would be glad you did 🙂 Don’t forget to drop a comment below and feel free to share with your network.
Wondering about contraception? Get your copy of ‘Understanding Contraception’ here