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Family Health

Family Health

Pregnancy

We have a dedicated page with lots of useful links to guide you through your pregnancy journey, birth, and the early days and weeks with your newborn. Please see our pregnancy page for full details

Child Health 0 - 6 Years

Children’s health

This page on the NHS lists some commonly asked questions about child health.

You can check this NHS page for common childhood illnesses.

When should I worry?

Having an ill child can be a very scary experience for parents. If you understand more about the illness it can help you to feel more in control. This link gives you some guidance on how to tell if your child is seriously ill and has information on some common childhood illnesses.

Fevers

Most symptoms of a fever in young children can be managed at home with infant paracetamol. More information is available on the NHS website or via Bupa. If the fever is very high, they may have an infection that needs treating with antibiotics.

Children’s Immunisation Schedule

Here’s a list of the vaccines that are routinely offered to everyone in the UK for free on the NHS, and the age at which you should ideally have them.

A table showing details of early childhood vaccinations

Immunisations for at-risk children

A table showing vaccinations for at risk children

Conditions and Treatments

See the NHS Conditions and Treatments browser for an in-depth description of many common health issues.

These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Child Health 7 - 15 years

Routine childhood immunisations

A table showing childhood immunisations for children aged 7-15 years

When should I worry?

Having an ill child can be a very scary experience for parents. If you understand more about the illness it can help you to feel more in control. This link gives you some guidance on how to tell if your child is seriously ill and has information on some common childhood illnesses.

Fevers

Most symptoms of a fever in young children can be managed at home with infant paracetamol. More information is available on the NHS website or via Bupa. If the fever is very high, they may have an infection that needs treating with antibiotics.

Head lice

Head lice are insects that live on the scalp and neck. They may make your head feel itchy. Although head lice may be embarrassing and sometimes uncomfortable, they don’t usually cause illness. However, they won’t clear up on their own and you need to treat them promptly. See more information here.

Nose bleeds

Nosebleeds (also known as epistaxis) are fairly common, especially in children, and can generally be easily treated. More information on how to treat a nosebleed yourself can be found here.

Conditions and Treatments

See the NHS Conditions and Treatments browser for an in-depth description of many common health issues.

These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Men

Mens’ Health

“British men are paying the price for neglecting their health: more than 100,000 men a year die prematurely. On average, men go to their GP half as often as women. It’s important to be aware of changes to your health, and to see your GP immediately if you notice something that’s not right.” Find out more.


Prostate Cancer

Each year about 36,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer, making it the most common cancer in men. It mainly affects men aged over 50.

Symptoms

  • difficulty in starting to pass urine
  • a weak, sometimes intermittent flow of urine
  • dribbling of urine before and after urinating
  • a frequent or urgent need to pass urine
  • rarely, blood in your urine or semen and pain when passing urine

These symptoms aren’t always caused by prostate cancer but if you have them, see your GP.

Find out more about the symptoms, causes and diagnosis of prostate cancer by using the resources below.


Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer, though the most common cancer in young men, it is still quite rare. With 2000 new cases being diagnosed each year, this makes it the biggest cause of cancer related death in 15 – 35-year-old males. It accounts for around 70 deaths a year within the UK.

What to Look Out For

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is swelling or a pea-sized lump in one of the testes (balls). There is no current screening test therefore it is important that you look out for the following signs and symptoms.

  • A dull ache, or sharp pain, in your testicles, or scrotum, which may come and go
  • A feeling of heaviness in your scrotum
  • A dull ache in your lower abdomen
  • A sudden collection of fluid in your scrotum
  • Fatigue, and generally feeling unwell.

Resources


Sexual Problems

It’s estimated that one man in 10 has a problem related to having sex, such as premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction.

Find out more on the NHS website


Conditions and Treatments

See the NHS Conditions and Treatments browser for an in-depth description of many common health issues.

These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Women

Cervical Screening (Smear Tests)

Cervical screening is a method of preventing cervical cancer by detecting abnormal cells in the cervix (lower part of the womb). Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, but it is a test to check the health of the cervix.

Most women’s test results show that everything is normal. But for one in 20 women, the test will show some changes in the cells of the cervix. Most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer and the cells will go back to normal on their own. In some cases, the abnormal cells need to be treated to prevent them becoming a problem later.

NHS – Cervical Screening
The why, when & how guide to cervical screening

Cervical Screening
This easy-to-read bookelt is for women who would like information about having a cervical smear test for screening. This means having the test when you don’t have any symptoms.


HPV Vaccination

Since September 2008 there has been a national programme to vaccinate girls aged 12-13 against human papilloma virus (HPV). There is also a three-year catch up campaign that will offer the HPV vaccine (also known as the cervical cancer jab) to 13-18 year old girls.

The programme is delivered largely through secondary schools, and consists of three injections that are given over a six-month period. In the UK, more than 1.4 million doses have been given since the vaccination programme started.

What is Human papilloma virus (HPV)?
Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the name of a family of viruses that affect the skin and the moist membranes that line your body, such as those in your cervix, anus, mouth and throat. These membranes are called the mucosa.

There are more than 100 different types of HPV viruses, with about 40 types affecting the genital area. These are classed as high risk and low risk.

How you get HPV?
Types of HPV that affect the skin can be passed on by skin contact with an affected person. The types of HPV that affect the mouth and throat can be passed on through kissing. Genital HPV is usually spread through intimate, skin to skin, contact during sex. You can have the genital HPV virus for years and not have any sign of it.

How HPV can cause cervical cancer?
Most HPV infections are harmless or cause genital warts, however some types can cause cervical cancer. Most HPV infections clear up by themselves, but in some people the infection can last a long time. HPV infects the cells of the surface of the cervix where it can stay for many years without you knowing.

The HPV virus can damage these cells leading to changes in their appearance. Over time, these changes can develop into cervical cancer. The purpose of cervical screening (testing) is to detect these changes, which, if picked up early enough, can be treated to prevent cancer happening. If they are left untreated, cancer can develop and may lead to serious illness and death.

NHS: HPV Facts and information

NHS – HPV Vaccination: Why, how and when is the vaccination given and what are the side effects


 

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. About 46,000 women get breast cancer in the UK each year. Most of them (8 out of 10) are over 50, but younger women, and in rare cases men, can also get breast cancer.

The NHS Breast Screening Programme invites over 2 million women for screening every year, and detects over 14,000 cancers. Dr Emma Pennery of Breast Cancer Care says: “Breast X-rays, called mammograms, can detect tumours at a very early stage, before you’d feel a lump. The earlier it’s treated, the higher the survival rate.”

NHS overview: breast cancer in women

Macmillan: diagnosis of breast cancer and support

NHS: information on breast cancer screening


Conditions and Treatments

See the NHS Conditions and Treatments browser for an in-depth description of many common health issues.

These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Seniors

Seasonal Flu Vaccination

Influenza – flu – is a highly infectious and potentially serious illness caused by influenza viruses. Each year the make-up of the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the influenza viruses that the World Health Organisation decide are most likely to be circulating that winter.

Regular immunisation (vaccination) is given free of charge to the following at-risk people, to protect them from seasonal flu:

  • people aged 65 or over,
  • people with a serious medical condition
  • if you are pregnant
  • people living in a residential or nursing home
  • the main carers for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer becomes ill
  • healthcare or social care professionals directly involved in patient care

For more information on flu immunisation, including background information on the vaccine and how you can get the jab, see the NHS page of the Seasonal flu jab.


Eating Well & Exercise – helping you maintain a healthy body

We’re bombarded with scare stories about weight, from size zero to the obesity ‘epidemic’. But a healthy body is determined by different factors for each of us.

NHS – Good Food Guide
Information on a healthy diet and ways to make it work for you

NHS – activity ideas to get you started
Even a little bit of exercise will make you feel better about yourself, boost your confidence and cut your risk of developing a serious illness.


Conditions and Treatments

See the NHS Conditions and Treatments browser for an in-depth description of many common health issues.

These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Sexual health

Both men and women need to look after their sexual health and take time to understand the issues that surround contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

For instance there are some STIs, like chlamydia, that you could be carrying without having any symptoms. This infection can affect fertility, so it’s important to make use of the sexual health services available for free on the NHS.

Useful resources


Contraception

There are so many different types of contraception available and you may want to try several different things before you choose the one you like most. This short video from NHS Choices gives an overview of different types of contraception.


Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection among under-25s. Often there are no symptoms, but testing and treatment are simple.

Causes and risk factors Chlamydia is usually passed from one person to another during vaginal, oral or anal sex, or by sharing sex toys. It can live inside cells of the cervix, urethra, rectum and sometimes in the throat and eyes.

Useful Links

  • NHS – focus on Chlamydia: Information, videos and advice from the NHS website
  • Bupa: Information on chlamydia and other common vaginal infections

Conditions and Treatments

See the NHS Conditions and Treatments browser for an in-depth description of many common health issues.

These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

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