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New NHS guidelines let teenage girls stock up on morning-after pill

teenage morning after pillNew NHS guidelines allowing teenage girls to stock up on the morning-after pill has sparked Government fears the move could lead to promiscuity.

The morning-after pill has always been a prickly issue and political hot potato, but the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will make the announcement this week.  Patients’ groups and campaigners have responded with anger and outrage and the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has also expressed concerns.

Current guidelines for GPs and chemists states under 25s, which includes girls under 16, can obtain the morning-after pill readily and in advance of sexual intercourse, without parental knowledge or consent. Providing ’emergency contraception’ does not presently apply, but the new guidance will let women obtain the morning-after pill in bulk for the first time.

NICE originally suggested the move four years ago but it was delayed due to fears it would encourage unprotected sex and promiscuity and lead to increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases. Read in full

DIY health-check guide

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A trip to the doctors is a task many people will put off. Whether it’s a fear of potential embarrassment, reluctance to take time off work, or the worry that something could be seriously wrong, going to your GP is often bottom of your to-do list.

But everyone needs a health MOT every now and then, and as you get older, this becomes even more important.

There are several online health checks, which you can do in the comfort of your own home and will give you a good idea on how your body is doing. Your body will nearly always give clear warning signs if something is wrong, so it’s up to you to listen to them.

Although these tests should not replace a trip to the doctors, they allow you to test your health more regularly and spot potential problems more quickly.
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Next Generation Condoms

graphene condomsOne of the biggest complaints about condoms – and the primary reason men are reluctant to use them – is that they affect the sensation of intercourse and diminish the sexual pleasure.

However, a breakthrough material – graphene – could pave the way to silencing those prophylactic naysayers with a new-and-improved condom that’s stronger, thinner and safer than their current counterparts.

The University of Manchester has received a Grand Challenges Explorations Grant to the tune of $100,000 (£62,123) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The money will be used to develop a new synthesis of nano-materials to create the range of next generation condoms. Read in full

Alcohol Awareness Week: 18th-24th November

alcohol awareness weekWhat is Alcohol Awareness Week?

Organised by Alcohol Concern, Alcohol Awareness Week takes place 18th–24th of November 2013 and aims to raise awareness of the UK’s growing problem with alcohol.

This year’s theme is ‘Conversations about alcohol’ and the aim of the week is to encourage people to talk about alcohol – from the health risks of over-drinking, to the social problems it causes.

It also aims to show the bigger picture of the UK’s alcohol problem, by discussing how it affects individuals, families, communities and society as a whole.

What is the goal?

The goal of Alcohol Awareness Week is to change the UK’s relationship with alcohol. The campaign aims to raise awareness and is encouraging local authorities, NHS, emergency services, treatment services, schools, colleges and universities to help spread the message. Read in full