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Swine flu gloom, stressed-out women at work and the ‘future of family planning’ gone wrong.

Our roundup of health news headlines on Tuesday 5 January.

By Charlotte Barnes

Our roundup of health news headlines on Tuesday 5 January.

Flu stories still swarm the headlines this morning with The Daily Mail reporting that ‘nearly a quarter of intensive care beds' are now taken up by swine flu patients. The paper brings more doom and gloom as it warns of a ‘children's epidemic' sparking when schools re-open this week, which it highlights using the case of a 17-year-old who has become the latest victim to the H1N1 virus.

Back to work and feeling stressed already? It may be more than a case of the January blues says the Telegraph, suggesting ‘one in seven Britons feels under extreme stress' based on a survey conducted by The Stroke Association. And the situation is worse if you are a woman – the report shows twice the amount of women feel stressed compared to their male colleagues.

The Telegraph announces more bad news for women today. It reports that a contraceptive implant heralded ‘the future of family planning' has been subject to 1,000 NHS complaints. Implanon, which is inserted into the arm and supposed to protect women from pregnancy for three years, has left 584 women with unwanted pregnancies, says the newspaper.

MSD, which manufactures the implant, said it was replacing Implanon with a new contractive implant named Nexplanon and that a training programme was available for healthcare professionals fitting the device.

However there is some good news (if you dig deep enough!). Couples can find out the likelihood of giving birth in a matter of nine questions, says The Guardian. A free online calculator ‘with up to 99% accuracy' can be used by couples ‘to decide whether IVF is worth pursuing for them'. The calculator is based on data from more than 144,000 IVF cycles held by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). Debbie Lawler, professor of epidemiology at the University of Bristol, said healthcare professionals could also use the questions to ‘ensure appropriate use of resources'.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know, and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

Daily Digest

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