Prometheus News

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Struggling to sleep? Try a bedtime story

Dec 9, 2019 by William Lewis.

Stories are not just for kids: Brigid Moss has found the antidote to a restless night thanks to the dulcet tones of Stephen Fry. If you haven’t listened to Stephen Fry describing the beauty of the lavender fields of Provence, you haven’t experienced the only good thing about a sleepless night. Listening to Blue Gold, a sleep story on Calm.com, you find yourself “bimbling” with Fry in the “sublime spectacle” of the fields, hypnotised by his descriptions of the plants in “pleasing lines of purple”. His pronunciation is as exquisite as you can imagine: it’s a particular pleasure when he...

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Israeli Pharmacies to Carry Marijuana

Dec 9, 2019 by William Lewis.

Doctors will now be able to prescribe Cannabis to their patients who can pick up the medication from their local pharmacy. A large change is coming to medical marijuana in Israel. In the wake of many recent studies, as well as numerous policy reevaluations, Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman announced Monday that more doctors will now be able to prescribe medical marijuana, as the drug will now be made available in pharmacies. Announcing the policy change at the Knesset Committee on Drug Abuse, Litzman explained, “Even today there are pharmacies that give all kinds of other medications like drugs and...

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It is one of nature’s cruellest tricks that not every woman who wants to have a child can

Dec 9, 2019 by William Lewis.

There is so much to be said about fertility, but we only talk about it in hushed tones. We must start talking about it more openly, says Eleanor Morgan. Is there a human issue more sensitive, thorny and obstacle-strewn than fertility? What our reproductive bodies are capable – or incapable – of, and why, can be a confusing business. Sometimes babies happen quickly and brilliantly. Sometimes conceiving is slow and emotionally gruelling. Sometimes we need help from science. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all and science cannot tell us why. What is clear is that, although the fundamental nature of...

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There is now a sheet mask for your vulva and we tried it

Dec 9, 2019 by William Lewis.

This is not a drill. I don’t think I’ve ever posted something online that elicited as much alarm as the time I said I was going to try a vulva face mask. To be fair, my clumsy wording led to some confusion: was this a face mask infused with the essence of vulva? Or a mask for the face that looks like a vulva, turning the wearer into something Donald Trump either has nightmares or wet dreams about, depending on the news cycle? Unfortunately, the truth is only mildly less weird: TWO L(I)PS Blackout is an infrared-activated charcoal sheet mask...

Health

Vaginismus – what it feels like to be unable to use a tampon and sex

Dec 9, 2019 by William Lewis.

Shelby Hadden has made a short film about living with vaginismus. Lynn Enright talks to her about pain, taboos and hope. Vaginismus is the point at which the vagina takes care of similarly as you attempt to embed something into it. It is the body's programmed response to the dread of a few or a wide range of vaginal infiltration. It can mean that using tampons is impossible and penetrative sex is out of the question. It can be painful and traumatic and embarrassing. Vaginismus can be treated – with physiotherapy and with psychosexual therapy – and some people will...

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women in England haven’t had a smear test in almost four years

Dec 9, 2019 by William Lewis.

Cervical-screening rates are at their lowest in two decades. Public Health England has voiced concerns, after cervical-screening rates in England fell to their lowest for two decades, the BBC reported. One million women aged 50 to 64 haven’t had a smear test for at least five years, and experts say the lack of testing is due to embarrassment, a lack of awareness or just putting it off. The philanthropy Jo's Cervical Malignancy Trust studied 2,000 ladies who uncovered they were too humiliated to even consider attending screenings on account of their body shape (35%), the presence of their vulva (34%)...

Health

Instagram has become my IVF support system

Dec 9, 2019 by William Lewis.

When Emma Forsyth couldn’t get pregnant, she felt distanced from her friends – but the infertility community of Instagram rallied around her. On a stormy Saturday not long ago, a specialist broke the news to me that one more round of IVF was dropped on the grounds that my body had allowed me to down. As I left my facility, wailing and baffled at having fizzled, for the third time straight, to arrive at the point where one of my solidified undeveloped organisms could be put inside me, a message sprung up on my telephone. "How could it go?" A...

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Reproductive rights are about more than contraception and abortion,

Dec 9, 2019 by William Lewis.

Reproductive rights are about more than contraception and abortion, says Rebecca Schiller. Croatian MP Ivana Ninčević Lesandrić broke more than one taboo this October, when she stood in the Croatian parliament telling the minister of health her personal story of obstetric violence: "I had a miscarriage. They tied my hands and feet and began the curettage procedure without any anaesthesia. They scraped my uterus without anaesthesia. I can describe every second to you because they were the worst 30 minutes of my life.” But Lesandrić’s testimony was met with anger and disbelief, rather than support – reactions depressingly familiar to...

Health

Thanks to smear selfies, cervical screenings are finally being normalised

Dec 9, 2019 by William Lewis.

Rebekah Vardy is the latest celeb to show off her trip to the doctors on Instagram, prompting women to book their own smear tests. I went for my first-ever smear test earlier this week and I can’t lie – I was nervous. All my life, I’d been told that the experience was painful, uncomfortable and downright embarrassing, and I was expecting the worst. I’m not alone; millions of women avoid their smear tests for the exact same reasons and the number of cervical screenings nurses carry out are at their lowest rate in two decades. It was this stat, in...

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What is the truth about vaccines during pregnancy?

Dec 9, 2019 by William Lewis.

An avalanche of overwhelming health advice, media scaremongering and fake news could be fuelling anti-vaccine fears, says Louise Ridley. She investigates. When Vicky was pregnant last year, a midwife offered her a vaccination to protect her unborn baby from whooping cough. Vicky felt conflicted. “My head was telling me yes, do it, because of my research and because I’m not particularly anti-vaccine. But there was something about being pregnant and having this precious child inside me that I was fully responsible for. Anything that I ate or did was going to have an impact on him.” Whooping cough, also known...