Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eat Your Way To A Healthy Heart

Wednesday 31st March 2010

A healthy diet can reduce your chances of getting heart disease, and believing that prevention is better than cure I have come up with a list of foods that you can eat to help keep your heart healthy.


Fish is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids that protect your heart by reducing both inflammation and the risk of blood clots. These fats also work to keep your cholesterol levels healthy. Eat salmon or other oily ocean fish like tuna, sardines or herring at least two times per week. For a heart-healthy meal, try grilled salmon steaks with a green vegetable and a side salad with a sprinkling of lemon juice instead of high-calorie salad dressing.


Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta glucan that helps reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Soluble fiber also helps keep your digestive system healthy. Enjoy oatmeal with just a small amount of brown sugar and plenty of strawberries and walnuts for breakfast. Cold cereals made with oats are also great with low-fat milk or soy milk plus slices of fresh fruit.


Almonds and other nuts contain healthy oils, vitamin E and other substances that will help keep cholesterol levels in check. Almonds are also a good source of protein and fiber. Almonds make a great snack on their own, or sprinkle slivered almonds on green beans or asparagus with lemon juice as a deliciously healthy side dish.

Red wine

Red wine contains a powerful antioxidant called resveratol. Resveratrol has been shown to be good for your heart. Be sure to enjoy red wine in moderation. Studies show that only 4 to 8 ounces of red wine is needed each day.

Whole Grains

Whole grains provide vitamins and fiber that will help to keep your heart healthy. Make a deliciously healthy sandwich with two slices of 100-percent whole-grain bread, three ounces of lean turkey breast, lots of sliced tomatoes and avocado, plus lettuce and a bit of mustard. Switch from white pasta to whole grain pasta too.

Green leafy vegetables

Green leafy vegetables contain folate, which helps to keep homocysteine levels down, and vitamin E. Green leafy vegetables have also been associated with better retention of memory as age. Try using fresh spinach leaves or other greens for your favorite salad instead of iceberg lettuce.


Tomatoes are packed with vitamins and lycopene, which has been shown to reduce heart disease risk. Add thick slices of tomatoes to sandwiches and salads or enjoy tomato sauce on whole wheat pasta. In fact, cooked tomato sauce and canned tomato sauce that you buy in the store both contain more lycopene than raw tomatoes.

Olive Oil

Olive oil reduces your risk of heart disease by lowering your LDL cholesterol levels. Choose olive oil for cooking, or make a nice dip for whole grain bread by pouring a bit of olive oil in a small bowl and add a bit of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of oregano.


Apples contain a phytochemical called quercetin which acts as an antiinflammatory and will help prevent blood clots as well. Apples contain vitamins and fiber, come in several delicious varieties and are portable. Eat an apple with a handful of walnuts or almonds as a healthy snack or add apple slices to your healthy salads.
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Omega 3 Linked To A Longer Life

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Monday 29th March 2010

(NaturalNews) Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, have found that omega-3 fatty acids have another beneficial effect besides maintaining a healthy heart. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the study found that patients with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood experienced a slowing of the shortening of their telomeres, indicating that the fatty acids help to slow the aging process.

The study of telomeres and their role in the aging process has been a popular subject in recent years. Scientists have found that telomeres, which act as protective end caps on cells, gradually shorten over time as cells divide and repair themselves, causing a person to age. Researchers, however, have been studying various compounds, including omega-3s, that appear to slow the shortening process and even reverse it.

Ramin Farzaneh-Far, a clinical cardiologist and lead author of the study, evaluated 608 patients who had prior heart problems and coronary-artery blockage. Over a five-year period, those with the highest levels of omega-3s in their blood experienced far less telomere shortening than those with the lowest levels.

The researchers focused primarily on omega-3s derived from fish sources rather than from vegetable sources like flaxseed and walnuts. The study also did not address the specific sources of omega-3s, whether they be directly from fish or vegetables or from omega-3 supplements.

John LaPuma, a physician and nutrition expert from Santa Barbara, California, believes that omega-3s derived directly from eating fish is the best source. He bases this assumption on the brevity of research that has been conducted directly on fish sources of omega-3s but it seems reasonable to assume that omega-3s derived from other sources provide similar benefits as did the ones used in the study.

Study researchers said they are not entirely sure how telomeres work in the aging process but they recognize that they play a key role in the process. Others have compared telomeres to the plastic end caps on shoelaces that keep them from unraveling, indicating that they maintain the integrity of cells.

Dr. Farzaneh-Far also explained that short telomeres often predict the onset of certain diseases including cardiovascular illness and heart problems. Whether or not telomeres are merely indicators of these diseases or the cause of them is still up for debate. Further research into the process is needed in order to get a more accurate understanding of the way telomeres work in cellular aging.

See you back here again on Wednesday!
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Can Seaweed Help With Obesity?

Wednesday 24th March 2010

Yesterday scientists from The university of Newcastle revealed that Seaweed could be the answer to all our obesity woes.

Researchers found seaweed fibre could reduce the body's fat uptake by more than 75%.

A fibrous material in Sea Kelp called alginate was better at preventing fat absorption than most over-the-counter slimming treatments, laboratory tests have shown.

Dr Iain Brownlee, who co-led the University of Newcastle team, said: "This suggests that if we can add the natural fibre to products commonly eaten daily - such as bread, biscuits and yoghurt's - up to three quarters of the fat contained in that meal could simply pass through the body.

"We have already added the alginate to bread and initial taste tests have been extremely encouraging. Now the next step is to carry out clinical trials to find out how effective it is when eaten as part of a normal diet."

The scientists used an "artificial gut" to test the effectiveness of 60 different natural fibres by measuring the extent to which they affected the digestion of fat.

They presented their findings at the American Chemical Society's spring meeting in San Francisco, US.

Dr Brownlee said the aim was to see if the same effects modelled in the laboratory could be reproduced in living volunteers.

"Our initial findings are that alginates significantly reduce fat digestion," he said.

The research is part of a three-year project funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Contraception - Abstinence

Monday 22nd March 2010

If you are looking for a contraceptive that is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases then abstinence is the perfect contraceptive for you.

While the idea of abstinence is not taught in many schools, in my opinion it should be. A good sex education class should cover all bases including how to say no and how to say no to sex.

There has been considerable debate over whether abstinence is a true form of birth control and if it is worth teaching to young people. Research shows that teens whose sex education is at least half abstinence-based are less likely to experience an unplanned pregnancy than those who receive contraceptive education alone; and women who report no sex education at all have the greatest number of unplanned pregnancies. It seems that abstinence education is important, and many young people do select abstinence as their method of choice.

Some people argue that sexual abstinence is not a true form of birth control. But, birth control is any act, drug, or device that is intended to prevent pregnancy. This means that choosing to abstain is really a contraceptive. Did you know that among teens abstinence is the most popular method of birth control? Among people aged 15-19, fewer than half have ever had sex. Over one in ten women of reproductive age have never had sex at all.

What are your feelings on abstinence? Should we be teaching our children about it in schools and at home as well as telling them about contraceptive devices?
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Contraception - The Morning After Pill

Monday 15th March 2010

The morning after pill can be used by a woman to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex.

While it is very effective at preventing pregnancy if they are used soon after having unprotected sex, they are not a barrier to protect you from any sexually transmitted infections.

The emergency contraceptive pill can be taken up to three days (72 hours) after you have had unprotected sex.

If it is taken within 24 hours of having unprotected sex, the emergency contraceptive pill is effective in preventing 95% of pregnancies. However, the later the emergency contraceptive pill is taken, the lower the success rate.

The emergency contraceptive pill is available free of charge from your GP and most family planning clinics. A number of community pharmacists can also prescribe it to those who are under 18 years of age, including teenagers who are under 16.

If you are over 16 years of age, you can buy the emergency contraceptive pill over-the-counter (OTC) at pharmacies for around £26 and some pharmacies, such as Lloyds, are now selling it online.

The emergency contraceptive pill should not be used as a regular method of contraception.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Something For The Weekend 24

Friday 12th March 2010

Now, if you have ever watched Dragons Den then you may have actually heard of the Tangle Teezer Detangling Hair Brush.

As the brainchild of celebrity colourist Shaun P, this unique Tangle Teezer Detangling Hair Brush waves goodbye to those troublesome hair tangles while dramatically reducing hair breakage and splitting.

Available in a number of colours, this hair brush really is a dream come true for those who have long hair, wavy or curly hair and is a life line for parents!

Website Of The Week

Your Health Food Store

If you are looking for an online store that sells supplements and health foods, then you'd be mad to not give this place a try. it has to be one of the most well stocked health food stores I have seen. Not only that the customer care is excellent as well as the products themselves.

Well, that was short but sweet today. Don't forget mothers day is on Sunday, so with that I would like to wish all the mum's out there a very happy mothers day.

See you on Monday!
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Women And Hair Loss

Thursday 11th March 2010

Here is a really interesting article I found today about women and hair loss that I wanted to share with you all. It's written by Tracee Cornforth and you can fond the origianl article here on

The advertisements for treatment of balding and hair loss in men can't be missed. These ads might lead one to believe that hair loss is generally an issue affecting men. However, the fact is that as many as two-thirds of all women experience hair loss at some point.

Fortunately, hair loss in women typically does not result in complete baldness, as is often the case with men.

Does Estrogen Affect Hair Loss?

The role of estrogen in hair growth -- at least in humans -- is not clear. Both oral and topical estrogens are prescribed by physicians to treat hair loss in women, although there are no controlled studies to support this use of estrogen.

Dr. Vera H. Price, a researcher who examined hair loss and treatments for the two most common types of hair loss -- androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata, warns that women who choose to use oral contraceptives to treat hair loss should take care to select one with little or no androgenic activity, such as norgestimate or ethynodiol diacetate. She also warns that women with androgenetic aplopecia should not use testosterone or androgen precursors such as DHEA.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an immune disease that affects almost 2% of the population in the United States. This type of hair loss appears in various degrees of severity -- from small, round patches of hair loss that regrow without medical treatment, to chronic, extensive hair loss that can involve the loss of all hair on the scalp or body. This type of hair loss affects both genders equally and can occur at any age, although it occurs most often in children and young adults.

Treatment of this type of hair loss includes therapies such as glucocorticoids, topical immunotherapy, anthralin, or biologic-responce modifiers, such as Minoxidil. The choice of treatment depends on your age, as well as the extent of hair loss. Milder cases often see a greater improvement with treatment than severe cases.

In no case does treatment restore full hair in patients with 100% scalp or body hair loss.

Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic alopecia in men is what is known as male-pattern baldness -- hair loss that starts at the front of the scalp and recedes backward over time, and hair in the center of the scalp thins and falls out. In women, this instead results in uniform hair thinning.

Women who develop androgenetic alopecia may be suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome.

There are several misconceptions about this type of hair loss, so let's dig into them more closely here:

Myths Vs. Facts
Myth: Hair loss is inherited from your father Fact: Both parents' genes are a factor. Androgenetic aplopecia is genetically-linked hair thinning.
Myth: Female pattern hair loss causes abnormal bleeding. Fact: Menstruation is not affected. Hair loss typically begins between the ages of 12 and 40.
Myth: Extensive hormonal evaluation is required. Fact: Hormonal evaluation is only required if the patient is also experiencing irregular periods, infertility, hirsutism, cystic acne, virilization, or glactorrhea. Androgenetic aplopecia usually doesn't cause menstrual issues or interfere with pregnancy or endocrine function.
Myth: Teasing, using hair color, other products, or frequently washing hair increases hair loss. Fact: Normal hair care doesn't affect hair loss. The only drug approved for promoting hair growth in women is Minoxidil.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Estrogen and Your Health

Wednesday 10th March 2010

Estrogen and Your Health

What Is Estrogen?: What is estrogen and how does it affect your health? If you're interested in lowering your risk of breast cancer,or if you want to understand how to prevent recurrence after treatment, it's important to understand the role that estrogen, and other hormones, play in your health. Get started by reading about estrogen.

Estrogen Definition and Functions

Estrogen Replacement Therapy or HRT: Low levels of estrogen can be caused by natural, surgical, or chemical menopause, and by estrogen suppression medications. Some side effects of low estrogen may include: hot flashes, headaches, night sweats and vaginal dryness. Some women may be able to take HRT (hormone replacement therapy) to help counteract these effects.

Long-term Use of Estrogen is Safe Within Limits

Estrogen and Breast Cancer: Some kinds of breast cancer are fueled by high amounts of estrogen. That's the reason that estrogen suppression medications are an important part of treatment that prevents recurrence. Here is an overview of the main types of breast cancer: ductal, lobular, inflammatory, and Paget's disease.

For more information visit: Breast Actives
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Monday, March 08, 2010

Contraception - Intrauterine Device (IUD)

Monday 8th March 2010

An IUD is a small, T-shaped contraceptive device made from plastic and copper that fits inside the womb (uterus). It used to be called a coil or a loop.

It is a long-lasting and reversible method of contraception but it is not a barrier method. This means that an IUD cannot stop you getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

There are different types and sizes of IUD to suit different women. IUDs need to be fitted by a trained doctor or nurse at your GP surgery, local family planning clinic or sexual health clinic.

They can stay in the womb for five to 10 years depending on the type. If you are 40 or over when you have an IUD fitted, it can be left in until you reach the menopause or until you no longer need contraception.

Most women can have an IUD fitted, including women who have never been pregnant or who are HIV positive. An IUD is usually fitted during your menstrual period. From the moment the IUD is fitted until the time it is taken out, you are protected against pregnancy.

How it works

An IUD stops sperm from reaching the egg. It does this by releasing copper into the body, which changes the make-up of the fluids in the womb and fallopian tubes. These changes prevent sperm from fertilising eggs. IUDs may also stop fertilised eggs from travelling along the fallopian tubes and implanting in the womb.

How effective is an IUD?

An IUD is 9899% effective at preventing pregnancy. Newer models that contain more copper are the most effective (over 99% effective). This means that less than one in every 100 women who use the IUD will get pregnant in a year.

As a long-lasting method of contraception, the IUD is very effective. You do not need to remember to take or use contraception to prevent pregnancy. However, it does not protect you against STIs.

Emergency contraception

The IUD can also be used as a method of emergency contraception up to five days after unprotected sex or up to five days after the earliest time you could have released an egg (ovulation). If you have unprotected sex, make an appointment with your GP or clinic as soon as possible.

Most women can use an IUD, including women who have never been pregnant and those who are HIV positive. Your GP or nurse will ask about your medical history to check if an IUD is the most suitable form of contraception for you.

You should not use an IUD if you have:

  • any untreated sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or pelvic infection,
  • problems with your womb or cervix, or
  • any unexplained bleeding from your vagina, for example between periods or after sex.

Women who have had an ectopic pregnancy or recent abortion, or who have an artificial heart valve, must consult their GP before having an IUD fitted.

You should not be fitted with an IUD if there is a chance you are already pregnant or if you or your partner are at risk of catching STIs.

The IUD is most appropriate for women with one long-term partner, who they are confident does not have any STIs. If you or your partner are unsure, go to your GP or sexual health clinic to be tested for STIs.

Using an IUD after giving birth

An IUD is usually fitted four to six weeks after the birth (vaginal or caesarean). You will need to use alternative contraception from three weeks (21 days) after the birth until the IUD is fitted. In some cases, an IUD can be fitted within 48 hours of giving birth.

An IUD is safe to use when you are breastfeeding and will not affect your milk supply.

Using an IUD after a miscarriage or abortion

An IUD can be fitted after an abortion or miscarriage by an experienced doctor or nurse, as long as you were pregnant for less than 24 weeks. If you were pregnant for more than 24 weeks, you may have to wait a few weeks before having an IUD fitted.

Advantages of an IUD

  • Most women can use an IUD, including women who have never been pregnant.
  • Once an IUD is fitted, it is immediately effective at preventing pregnancy and will be for up to 10 years or until it is removed.
  • It does not interrupt sex.
  • It can be used if you are breastfeeding.
  • Your normal fertility returns as soon as the IUD is taken out.
  • It is not affected by other medicines.

There is no evidence that IUDs affect body weight or that having an IUD fitted will increase the risk of cancer of the cervix, endometrium (lining of the womb) or ovaries. Some women experience changes in mood and libido, but these are very small.

Disadvantages of an IUD

  • Your periods may become heavier, longer or more painful, though this may improve after a few months.
  • You have to have an internal examination to check whether an IUD is suitable for you and another one when it is fitted.
  • An IUD does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so you may have to use condoms as well. If you get an STI while you have an IUD fitted, it could lead to a pelvic infection if it is not treated.
Sourced from NHS Direct.

Had an IUD fitted? Let us know about your experiences with this form of contraception in the comments section below and help more women to make decisions about the contraceptions they choose.
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Friday, March 05, 2010

Something For The Weekend 23

Friday 5th March 2010

Okay, you've seen the adverts on television promoting this particular product, and if you are anything like me you probably think 'yeah right' because Bio-Oil does sound like one of those beauty miracles that's just too good to be true. Well I can verify that this product is a miracle and it does do exactly what it says on the tin...well in the bottle!

Bio-Oil really is specialist skin care for scars (old and new), stretch marks (new and existing), uneven skin tone (pigmentation and blemishes), ageing skin (both face and body) and replenishes dehydrated skin.

You can also use Bio-Oil in your daily skincare routine; as an intensive moisturiser, soothing after sun treatment or as a bath oil. As little as two drops is enough to cover the whole face and neck area adequately.

I need to stress that Bio-Oil is not an overnight solution, but it does require daily use over a prolonged period of time to produce the best results. It definitely scores a ten out of ten from me.

Website Of The Week


Now, this website is not a health and beauty thing, but it is a way for you to meet new people, chat, share your opinions and get paid for doing it. Lets face it, we all need a bit of extra cash don't we, so why not network, have fun online and earn money while doing it?

Please be aware that you are not going to make a fortune, just some pocket money. You will need a paypal account, but other than that there is nothing stopping you. You will find me on the site too under the pseudonym of Beautyfactor, so if you do sign up don't forget to add me as a friend!

All you have to do is visit this link, make sure you understand all the rules and have fun!

Hope you all enjoy your weekends and I will see you back here again on Monday for more talk on contraception.
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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Eat More Curry...It's Good For You

Wednesday 3rd march 2010

Once hailed as Britain's most popular dish, the curry is much more than a tasty tea time treat. While curry or curry powder is a concoction of a few different spices, one main spiced used in curry is indeed turmeric. This spice is a member of the ginger family and this is what gives the curry dishes that yellowish colour.

Curry is thought to be healthy for a number of reasons, but here are the top two:

1 . Lab tests have proven that turmeric does a great deal to reduce inflammation in the joints which will help people who have arthritis.

2 . Curry can also prevent cancer. Many studies have found that there is a viable link between eating curry and lower incidences of cancer. Again, it is thought that turmeric is responsible for preventing this disease. Containing an active compound, turmeric has been shown to reduce and even prevent the progression of certain types of cancer such as breast cancer,melanoma and prostate cancer.

As well as the benefits above, curry can also help you lose weight. It turns out that the spices used in curry help to speed up your metabolism, but that is only if you keep away from the creamy curries like Korma and eat a more tomato and spice based curry such as a Tikka Masala dish.

So, if you are a mad hungry curry lover you have no need to feel guilty about it anymore because the curry can be a great addition to any balanced, healthy diet.

What I want to know is how hot you can handle your curry? Do you like it mildly spiced, or are you in love with a vindaloo. Let me know!

See you again tomorrow.
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Monday, March 01, 2010

Contraception - Vasectomy

Monday 1st March 2010

The Vasectomy is a simple and straightforward operation that stops sperm entering semen. It is a permanent form of contraception, but as a rule it shouldn't interfere with your sex life because you will still have erections and produce semen.

However, it's clear that a very small number of men do run into trouble after the operation. These include males who have psychological problems such as fear of castration.

Also, there is an uncommon condition called ‘sperm granuloma’, which is a painful little lump occurring in the scrotum as a result of leakage of sperm. If it causes pain, it can be removed surgically or treated with anti-inflammatory pills.

A few men get chronic (long-term) testicular pain after the operation. This is so uncommon that I personally have never seen a case in the UK.

However, in some countries – notably the USA – there has recently been a good deal of publicity about this ‘Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome’ (PVPS).

Nevertheless, vasectomy is a popular and routine operation these days, with about 18 per cent of British men having had ‘the snip’.

Provided you have thought it over carefully, any man can choose to be sterilised by having a vasectomy - though doctors are generally unwilling to do the operation on very young males, especially those without children.

Vasectomy is a much simpler procedure than the sterilisation of women and is almost always done on an outpatient basis – in other words, without having to stay in hospital. You can usually go home a couple of hours after the operation.

The actual surgical procedure sounds a bit alarming for most men, but there's usually very little pain and the operation is short.

These days, it's nearly always done under a local anaesthetic.

A few surgeons – mainly in private practice – like to do it while the patient is under a general anaesthetic. (Inevitably, this pushes the cost up quite a lot, because you have to pay for the anaesthetist and all his equipment and drugs.)

Did you know?

The tube that carries sperm to semen is called the vas.

Vasectomy means 'cutting out a piece of vas'.

  • You’ll be lying flat on your back. The surgeon will inject a little local anaesthetic into the skin of your scrotum, and after that you’ll feel no pain.
  • The surgeon makes a small cut in your scrotum. Working through this incision, he finds the slim, spaghetti-like tube that carries sperms upwards from your testicle. This tube is called the vas.
  • The surgeon cuts through the vas and then seals off the ends.
  • The surgeon does the same thing to the tube on the other side – and that’s it.
  • With modern techniques, the surgeon may not even need to use stitches. If there are any, they’ll probably be dissolvable.

There are minor variations in the way that different surgeons perform the operation.

  • The surgeon may do the whole procedure through one incision instead of two.
  • The surgeon may use the much advertised no-scalpel technique. Instead of an incision, the surgeon makes a small ‘puncture’ in the scrotum, and then inserts a slim instrument through it. Some private clinics now have a lot of experience with this technique.

Whatever the method, it’s generally all over within fifteen minutes.

Most men are just a bit sore and bruised afterwards, but a few develop bleeding, marked swelling or an infection (symptoms: pain and a temperature). If any of these things happen, contact a doctor.

Heavy bleeding is uncommon, but if it happens it could put you off work for several weeks.

You should wear an athletic support (a jock strap) for a week or so after the vasectomy to ease the discomfort. Getting into a warm bath is also very soothing.

Do not attempt any strenuous physical activity for at least a month after the op. Lifting a heavy weight could make a stitch slip and so cause bleeding, but this is uncommon.

After the operation, you will still have some sperm left in the tubes that lead to the penis. This means that you must use another contraceptive method for the time being.

About two to three months after your surgery, you'll need to have a semen test to see if all the sperm have gone. Many surgeons like to make really sure by doing two tests.

Once you have been reassured that no sperm can be seen in your ejaculate - under a microscope - then you can rely on your vasectomy without using any back-up contraception.

But there is still a tiny failure rate. Occasionally, men who have had vasectomies find they have sired a child. This is because the tubing has joined up again.

If you would like to know more about Vasectomy then please feel free to ask your questions in the comment box provided.

Source : Dr David Delvin for netdoctor

Image: djcodrin /

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