Prometheus News

Health

Why have young people become so dangerously casual about STIs?

Dec 9, 2019 by Hamza Sheraz.

A recent survey found that one in five 18-24-year-olds doesn’t actually understand what an STI is. Isn’t it time we talked about that, asks Radhika Sanghani. “I know that STIs are dangerous,” says Maya. “I know there are serious risks. I know that I need to use a condom with someone new. I know this. But for some reason, I still occasionally have sex with one-night stands or – most recently – holiday flings without using a condom.” Maya is 28. But pretty much every sexually active twenty-to-thirtysomething I know has admitted to doing this at least once in their...

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The NHS will offer free pelvic-floor trainers to treat incontinence

Dec 9, 2019 by Hamza Sheraz.

After the vaginal-mesh scandal, can the Elvie trainer help to revolutionise women’s health? A new device designed to improve women’s pelvic-floor strength is to be made available on the NHS. The trainer, from femtech company Elvie, will be prescribed to those suffering with stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The trainer itself is a small egg-shaped gadget, programmed with biofeedback technology that detects pelvic-floor muscle movements. Once inserted, the device connects to an app via bluetooth, which guides users through a number of exercises designed to tighten the pelvic floor and treat SUI. According to research on the trainer, 80% of Elvie...

Health

Why has America approved this controversial contraception app?

Dec 9, 2019 by Hamza Sheraz.

The Natural Cycles app has come under fire in Europe, yet America has just given it the green light. This is especially worrying for a country fighting for birth-control rights, says Rachael Sigee.  The headline of Jezebel’s report of an incredible new birth-control app being FDA-approved in the US includes the caveat: “But it’s being investigated for unintended pregnancies.” That does rather bring you back to earth with a bump. I felt for US women today, scrolling through their morning news alerts and having their interest pricked by the promise of problem-free contraception. No life-altering side effects, agonising insertions or...

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FitrWoman – the app that helps you exercise, according to your menstrual cycle

Dec 9, 2019 by Hamza Sheraz.

Is it brilliantly liberating or just too intrusive? Alexandra Heminsley considers the new femtech. FitrWoman has recently released an update. A pioneering app designed to help women exercise around their menstrual cycle is now free and available to us all. Cue an intake of breath and scornful sigh from women everywhere. We know what it feels like to have a period, thanks awfully. We know how we feel about exercising that week, too. And we don’t need an app bossing us around about something else. But, hang on a minute. Might it actually… be useful? On the one hand, this...

Health

What to do now to sleep better tonight

Dec 9, 2019 by Hamza Sheraz.

Brigid Moss relies on camomile tea, massages and eye masks to get a good night’s sleep, but is she wasting her time? According to sleep scientist Neil Stanley, it’s what you do during the day that makes a difference . If you’re bad at sleeping, you've probably tried a heap of things to get better at it. I am a chronically light sleeper – last night, I was woken up by what I realised was my own bed creaking as I moved. After trying and testing scores of sleep aids during my years as a health journalist, my current pre-bed...

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Taking the morning-after pill isn’t “feckless”, it’s responsible

Dec 8, 2019 by Hamza Sheraz.

A new campaign is urging us to tackle the lingering stigma still associated with the morning-after pill. Being diligent about our health should make us proud, agrees Daisy Buchanan. When I was 16, in 2001, the morning-after pill became widely available from pharmacies for the first time. It was brilliant news for women, although I didn’t realise this at the time. On the radio, in the newspapers and in the school canteen, it was spoken of as the very last resort for the girls who took too many chances. It was thought that Emma, in lower sixth, had to take...

Health

Could better light help you survive winter?

Dec 8, 2019 by Hamza Sheraz.

Being clever with light may help you get more sleep, feel more awake and stay energetic all winter, discovers Brigid Moss. Think back to last winter. Did you have to drag yourself out of bed every morning, feel down, dreary, sleep too much or too little? You could self-diagnose this – light deprivation. That’s the theory of Karl Ryberg, Swedish light expert and author of new book Light Your Life. In his native Sweden, he’s been treating people using light therapy for over 20 years. The reason is brains need quality light for their best function. Having evolved at the...

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Good health isn’t an expensive pastime for the privileged

Dec 8, 2019 by Hamza Sheraz.

We’re made to feel that good health is for people who have money and self-discipline – and that’s wrong, says Daisy Buchanan. For a long time, I’ve been lazily optimistic about the health and wellness levels of our society. My dad, one of the most enthusiastic smokers I have ever known, is now a vaper. The work friend I used to drink five bottles of wine a week with is now always posting pictures on Insta in which she’s wearing high-vis Lycra and sweating after a 10-mile run. When I have dinner with friends, someone always gets a side order...

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What if, instead of hating our bodies or loving them, ?

Dec 8, 2019 by Hamza Sheraz.

When women don’t love their bodies, they’re made to feel like that’s yet another failure. There is another way, says Lily Peschardt. Last week, my best friend went to donate blood for the first time in 18 months. As she stood all 5ft 1in of her body on the scales, the reading said she’d put on seven kilograms since her last visit. She told me this on the phone, laughing. Laughing. “Their scales are obviously wrong,” she said. “But who cares?” I could hear the shrug in her voice, the genuine apathy. She lives in a world where scales can...

Health

I am followed around the internet by imperfect bodies that look like mine

Dec 8, 2019 by Hamza Sheraz.

How has the internet changed the way advertising targets women’s bodies? Significantly, says Rachael Sigee. She reports. In the film Minority Report, Tom Cruise walks through a future (2054, to be specific), as his character, John Anderton, is bombarded by personalised advertisements. Triggered by iris scans as he strolls past, they chatter endlessly: “John Anderton” and “Get away, John Anderton. Forget your troubles,” as logos for Lexus and American Express bob into his eyeline. It didn’t take until 2054 for this sci-fi vision to be realised. We have all looked up cheap flights for city breaks or dragged items into...