It’s one of the most important parts of an adult woman’s life, but not many people want to talk about it – contraception. If you are a sexually active adult, then it is crucial that you have a good basic knowledge of the different contraception methods available to prevent you falling pregnant before you would want to start a family. After all, having a baby is a huge commitment and something that can be extremely costly and life-changing. It’s important that you think carefully about when the best time to have a baby for you would be. For most women, it’s once they have been in a stable relationship with their partner for a while and have managed to build up a successful career. They will then have all the necessary support and finances needed to provide the child with a happy and comfortable life.

Until you get to that point, though, you will need to use some form of contraception. Here are the most common methods that you can choose from. 

Condoms

One of the most regularly used forms of contraception is condoms. These have the added benefit of also being able to prevent sexually transmitted diseases passing between two people. The condoms are made from a very thin latex and prevent the sperm from passing into the vagina. When they are used correctly, they have a 98% success rate. However, there is a small chance of them splitting during sex, which is something that you need to bear in mind. You can buy condoms from the supermarket or your local drug store, and some doctors and fertility clinics will also give them away for free.

The Pill

The pill is exactly that – it’s a small pill that you will need to take at the same time every day for three weeks. You then have a week’s break during which you will get your period. After the seven-day break, you simply start taking the cerazette contraceptive pill again. It contains artificial hormones which prevent ovulation. As a result, there is no egg for the sperm to fertilize if it does reach the uterus. The pill is 99% effective, although it can cause some side effects. For instance, most women experience tender breasts, headaches, and mood swings. In some extreme cases, it has even been linked to depression.

The Contraceptive Implant

If you want to use a form of contraception that you don’t have to think about every day or every time you have sex, then you might be interested in the contraceptive implant. This is a very tiny rod that is placed under the skin in the arm. It then releases hormones into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy and lasts for around three years. You don’t need to think about it or do anything during those three years. There are not as many side effects as with the pill, but if you do experience some, you can always have the implant removed.

IUD (The Coil)

Another option for you is the IUD. This stands for an intrauterine device and is more commonly known as the coil. This is a piece of plastic and copper that is shaped like a T and is fitted into the uterus by a doctor or a nurse. It can be left up there for between five and ten years. It can be fitted at any time during your menstrual cycle and is 99% effective when fitted correctly. You can also have it removed at any time if you want to take it out earlier. Once it is removed, your fertility will instantly return and you could end up pregnant straight away. There are some side effects associated with the coil, including heavier and longer periods. Some women also experience spotting in between their periods to start with.

Contraceptive Injections

The contraceptive injection is one more method that you might want to use. You will need to visit your doctor so that he can inject the hormone progesterone into you. This will then prevent you from falling pregnant for thirteen weeks. Once those thirteen weeks are up, you will need to go back for a top-up injection. It’s a method that is 99% effective, and lots of women like it as they don’t need to remember to do anything every day as they would with the pill or condoms. There are some side effects associated with it, such as weight gain, tender breasts, and headaches. Unfortunately, you will have to wait for the injection to wear off for the side effects to disappear.

Hopefully, this has made the decision an easier one to make!

The Renaissance Journey continues …

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A Special Appreciation goes out to our guest writer: Sarah Hopely for this insightful post.

Yours in love - The Renaissance Lady ©

 

Forgive the late post but yesterday being April 25th was World Malaria Day. This is a significant day to be marked as it is a chance to shine a spotlight on the global effort to control malaria worldwide. Around 400,000 people die each year from various strains of the disease, which is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. The hope with highlighting this day is that with widespread implementation of prevention techniques this figure can be whittled down to zero.

There is this stigma pertaining to countries where mosquitoes are based such as Sub-Saharan Africa countries. Anytime I travel to Nigeria for vacation, I always remember on the way back to the UK, seeing some of the aircrew attendants spraying the plane with some sort of insecticide and that use to irk me (as if everyone on the plane were contagious or something) or that time, one of my cousins has malaria (after a trip back home to Nigeria) and was taken to a certain hospital in West London who decided to isolate her from everyone else and place her under quarantine (as if there are no worse diseases out there).

The question could then be asked why there is malaria in Africa: That is because the majority of infections in Africa are caused by Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous of the four human malaria parasites. It is also because of the most effective malaria vector – the mosquito Anopheles gambiae – is the most widespread in Africa and the most difficult to control. Some 13 countries – mainly in subSaharan Africa – account for 76% of malaria cases and 75% deaths globally. Malaria disease can be categorised as uncomplicated or severe (complicated).

The truth is: Malaria is preventable and treatable, and history shows that in general, malaria is a curable disease if diagnosed and treated promptly and correctly. All the clinical symptoms associated with malaria are caused by the asexual erythrocytic or blood stage parasites.

So here are some information about Malaria and World Malaria Day (click on the Fact Sheet on Malaria for more information):

When is Malaria Day 2017? Malaria Day is every year on April 25.

What is the date all about?: World Malaria Day is all about celebrating the successes there have been in the drive to eradicate malaria from the world as well as raising awareness of the disease and its prevention.

What is this year’s theme? This year the World Health Organisation (WHO) titled its theme: Ending malaria for Good’ which aims to focus on demonstration prevention methods including using nets and spraying insecticide indoors.

What is malaria? A tropical disease which is spread by infected female anopheles mosquitoes. It only takes one bite from the insects to get the bug. Malaria caused by the falciparum parasite is the most serious and can lead to breathing problems, liver failure, coma and eventual death. Around 400,000 die from the disease every year. Worldwide there are around 212 million cases. Tackling malaria is improving with a 29% drop in mortality rates between 2010 and 2015 and a 21% global decrease in cases.

What are the symptoms? They are similar to flu and include a high temperature, sweats and chills, muscle pains and headaches. They usually appear 10-15 days after being bitten. But depending on the type of parasite you are infected with, it can take a year for symptoms to show. 

Who is most at risk? In areas with high malaria concentration, pregnant women and children are most at risk of contracting the disease. In 2015, more than two-thirds of deaths (70%) from malaria were of children under the age of five, according to WHO.

How do you prevent it?: Avoid being bitten as much as possible using nets over places of sleep, avoiding areas with lots of mosquitoes such as watering holes, using insecticide and bugs spray and taking anti-malarial tablets. 

Preventing malaria is as simple as ABCD:
A: Awareness: recognizing malaria!
B: Bite prevention: controlling mosquitoes
C: Chemoprophylaxis: use preventive medication
D: Diagnosis: early recognition

Since 2000, malaria prevention has played an important role in reducing cases and deaths, primarily through the scale up of insecticide-treated nets and indoor spraying with insecticides. 

To speed progress towards these global targets, WHO is calling on malaria-affected countries and their development partners to boost investments in malaria prevention. In parallel, the Organization is calling for greater funding for the development, evaluation and deployment of new tools.

Malaria elimination

In recent years, 7 countries have been certified by the WHO Director-General as having eliminated malaria: United Arab Emirates (2007), Morocco (2010), Turkmenistan (2010), Armenia (2011), Maldives (2015), Sri Lanka (2016) and Kyrgyzstan (2016). This certification is granted by WHO when countries achieve at least 3 consecutive years of zero locally-acquired cases of malaria.

Future progress in the fight to prevent malaria will likely be shaped by technological advances and innovations in new tools, including new vector control interventions, and possibly a vaccine.

One philanthropic couple I have admired from a distance are Bill & Melinda Gates who have always placed Malaria as a top priority of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Their new multi-year Malaria strategy, Accelerate to Zero was adopted in late 2013 and addresses the areas in which they believe the foundation is best positioned, among a broad spectrum of partners, to develop ground-breaking approaches to reducing the burden of malaria and accelerating progress toward eradication of the disease. To date, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have committed nearly US$2 billion in grants to combat malaria.

Malaria cases are decreasing but there is still work to be done to eradicate the disease entirely.

We can be the generation that ends malaria – one of the oldest and deadliest diseases in human history.   Let’s Be in It to Win It – Stop Malaria!

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Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady ©

download-2I came across a video via FaceBook which caused a great deal of concern to me. You seen recently, my friends and I have been analysing why cancer is on the rampant even with the healthy lifestyle that is being undertaken by many these days. I came to the conclusion that the rise in cancer is partly due to the kind of food that we pursue these days in view of the healthy lifestyle that we so crave. But we sometimes fail to question the quality of the ‘so-called fresh food’ and its origin before it enters our food stores or supermarkets.

Over the past few weeks, I have seen load of video clips about processed meat, fruits, beverages and even rice which has left me soooo worried and (for lack of a better saying) – putting myself on an involuntary food strike while I source what I am eating via the contents.

Well back to the video clip: I quickly searched (journalistic tendencies) via my ever-faithful friend called ‘Google’ to source its origin and found it on this site – 101 India (STORYTELLERS OF A NEW GENERATION) and panic attack set in. What have I been eating and for how long? Paranoia now in full effect: I can still hear my mum’s voice… ‘Hmmmm this girl – where did you buy that from and did you check the ingredients use to make it or the expiry date?’ Mum, you are so right even though I hate to admit it!

According to the video via also titled The Great Indian Vegetable Scam – it exposes on what farmers are doing to make stale veggies look fresh. The shocdownloadking revelations of a vegetable farmer just outside New Delhi who shows the additives, injections and sprays used to make old vegetables look fresh. And according to him, he isn’t the only one. All farmers do this, he says. With rising inflation and families to feed, he says poor farmers such as himself are left with no option when consumers reject even fresh, hygienic vegetables. 

Silicone spray makes the vegetables look shiny and fresh, even when it’s actually a few days old. Malachite green, a manufacturing dye, is added to green vegetables to make them look more vibrant, attractive and fresh. Oxytocin injections are pumped directly into vegetables like bottle gourd, making them swell in size overnight. What would otherwise have taken a week to mature, is now ready to be shipped to the market overnight.

There are loads of people out there dying of cancer and other incurable diseases so next time you reach for the biggest, shiniest or freshest looking vegetable or fruit or meat on the cart, think about what may have been added to it. I ponder upon the scripture – ‘1 Corinthians 6:19-20′: 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. And after viewing some of these disturbing video clips and having done my research, I have decided that part of my daily mantra is to ensure that I monitor what my son and I feed our body and soul.

download-1Disclaimer: please note that this is not targeting at India as a country but rather at how many countries are putting the whole world at risk by using banned or dangerous chemicals on food which are then exported.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady ©