Think Again -World Hepatitis Day is 28th July

World wide on the 28th of July, Hepatitis is brought to the stage. There are various types of hepatitis viruses. Some are sexually transmitted, others are not. They all cause inflammation of the Liver and in some cases, long term problems like Liver cancer.

On the Sexual Wellbeing Network, we want to use this opportunity to remind our community that Hepatitis is still very much around.

The good news is that it is treatable. But the first step is to get tested.English%20poster%20set%2017%2003_Page_09-14180650

Here are some facts for you: 

Informed? Unaware? Viral hepatitis kills 1.5 million people worldwide each year. That’s as many people as HIV/AIDS. Hepatitis: Think Again.

Informed? Unaware? Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer. Liver cancer is the second biggest cancer killer. Hepatitis: Think Again.

Feeling fine? Are you sure? Symptoms of viral hepatitis often go unnoticed. Get tested. Hepatitis: Think Again.


Safe? At Risk? Viral hepatitis can be avoided. Know the risks. Hepatitis: Think Again.


Treated? Treatable? Viral hepatitis can be treated. Everybody deserves the chance. Hepatitis: Think Again.


Protected? Vulnerable? Viral hepatitis can be prevented. Vaccinate your children. Hepatitis: Think Again.

Protected? Vulnerable? Protect against viral hepatitis. Vaccination works. Hepatitis: Think Again.


Accepted? Refused? Stigma kills. Don’t discriminate. Hepatitis: Think again.

Accepted? Refused? Viral hepatitis doesn’t discriminate. Neither should you. Hepatitis: Think again.

 Viral hepatitis can be beaten. Play your part. Hepatitis: Think again,


Enjoy the official World Hepatitis Video below.

Need more information? Check out the World Hepatitis Alliance site here


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Another survivor speaks out: Lovely Nevo Burrell on surviving breast cancer.

Nevo Burrell

Nevo talks us through finding out that she had breast cancer and the impact it had on her life. We often think cancer is confined to someone or some people out there. It can be an eye opener to find it so close. Especially in someone relatively young.


How often do you check your breasts?
What is your reaction when you find a bump where there should be none?
Do you ignore it and hope it goes away?

We are very pleased at the Sexual Wellbeing Network that beautiful Nevo Burrell has so generously shared her story to encourage other women to be breast aware.
Watch the video below and feel free to share with others.
The Sexual Wellbeing Network community celebrates Nevo Burrell and wish her many more years of fulfillment in her work.Sexual wellbeing network, Nevo Burrell.

Nevo works as an Image Consultant and Personal shopper. A typical consultation consists of colour analysis (ascertaining the best colours that work well with the individual’s natural colouring), styling (identifying the body shape / physique and advising how to dress) – also looking at face shapes and advising on appropriate hairstyles, glasses, wardrobe planning, de-cluttering and personal shopping amongst other things. She can be contacted on and phone number  +44(0)7961 175 938

Click below to hear how brave Nevo survived breast cancer. You would be glad you did :-) Don’t forget to drop a comment below and feel free to share with your network.
Wondering about contraception? Get your copy of ‘Understanding Contraception’ here




Posted in Black Heroes | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Jaydesse……the new ‘Lady’ in town.

One of the things that freak a few ladies out when we offer hormonal contraception is the thought of not seeing their periods.
No periods!! What! Is that even legal? And where will all the blood stay if its not coming out?
We gently explain that there is ‘no blood accumulating inside’ them. The contraception thins the linings of the womb so that there is nothing or very little to shed during the period. Sometimes the ability of the contraception to reduce your menstral flow is seen as a disadvantage to such ladies who find it very reassuring to have a monthly period.

On the other hand, many others are simply delighted not to bother with periods. For them, that is the attraction to those contraceptions like the Mirena coil. Perhaps they have struggled with very heavy (and sometimes, painful!)  menstral flow all their lives. And hormonal contraceptions have simply revolutionalised their lives by reducing and in some cases, stopping their menstral flow as well as providing contraceptive effect.
In some areas of the world where it is still very difficult to get regular water to have a good shower, no periods are good news!
Also sanitary towels, tampons, menstral cups and all other paraphernalia women use to keep themselves decent during menses still constitute a significant cost that some women are happy not to have to deal with.

Well, if you are in the first group of women who MUST have their periods, then let me introduce you to Jaydesse. Jaydesse is a hormonal contraception coil which has now been approved for use in the UK.
Jaydesse may already be known to our American readers as Skyla -Skyla has been in use in America since 2013 .                          Jaydesse contraceptive coil, sexualwellbeingnetwork

Jaydesse, apart from having a really cool name :-) has the following advantages:
– It is smaller than the mirena contraceptive coil which was the only hormonal coil in UK before the arrival of Jaydesse. Since its smaller, it is considered easier to insert.
– women may find the process of inserting it is less painful since it is smaller.
– You are likely to continue to have regular periods with Jaydesse.
– Jaydesse contains only 13.5mg of the hormone Levonorgestrel while Mirena contains 52mg of Levonorgestrel.

On the down side, Jaydesse
-is effective for up to 3 years only unlike mirena which is effective for 5 years.
-Can only be used for contraception while Mirena in addition to providing contraception, can also be used to help heavy periods (menorrhagia) and used as part of HRT if required when the woman becomes menopausal.
-Jaydesse is not the first choice for contraception in women who have never given birth as enough is not yet known about use in such women. But if a woman has considered other options and still prefers Jaydesse, it will be prescribed for her.
-Jaydesse is so good at preventing pregnancy however if a pregnancy does occur while you are using Jaydesse, it has a 50% chance of being an ectopic pregnancy.

Jaydesse is definitely a welcome addition to the contraceptions available to women especially as we wait (endlessly, it seems!) for a contraception for men that will save us women all the trouble…sigh…

Its worth having a chat with your doctor if you think Jaydesse will suit you. It is still relatively new, though and only time will tell how well received it will be.

We would love to hear from you if you have used Jadesse/Skyla and would like to share your experience. Comments can be posted below.
Join the conversation on our facebook page





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I can’t see my copper coil!!

Lost Copper coil thread In the ‘kitchen’ of SWN blog….you know where the ingredients for a post are washed, mixed, cooked or baked or fried depending on the topic, we have some interesting cupboards.
One of these ‘cupboards’ is labelled ‘search engine terms’.
Search terms are words or phrases users use to find our blog when they search the internet.
I am often amused at the different terms that lead people to our blog.
But when I last looked, one term caught my eye: ‘how to castrate my husband’.
How to castrate my husband?? Seriously?
I was taken aback!
I am sure we have never talked about that on sexual wellbeing network and it seems really strange that if someone put in that search term in the internet, they should arrive at our blog but anyway…….
I really hope no one out there is seriously planning to castrate someone else. Please, do take a deep breath, count to 100, go and speak to a psychiatrist or anything rather than castrate your husband. If you are reading this, remember you can contact us at for a chat.
Now to my topic…
A reader sent in a question,

”I had a copper coil fitted some months ago and I was able to see the thread whenever I went to the bathroom. In the last few days, I realised that I can no longer see the thread. Should I be concerned?”

If you are not familiar with copper coils, read our earlier post on copper coil.

First of all, I had to clarify if she meant she couldn’t feel the thread rather than see.
But no, she emphasized that she couldn’t see the thread.
I decided to answer the question on the blog so others can benefit.
A video will be coming out as well for our more visual readers.

When a copper coil is fitted, it comes with thin threads which are cut short and hang from the neck of the womb into the upper vagina.
It will be very unusual indeed for you to see the threads.
You should only be able to feel your threads when you pop a finger into your vagina. You should feel the thread at the tip of your fingers inside the vagina. It shouldn’t be so long that you can actually see it.
So I had two concerns about her question.

The first is that if she could see the thread, then the threads probably were not cut short when she had the coil fitted. A long thread can lead to a coil being easily dislodged just like you are more likely to trip over the long wire of your vacuum cleaner than the short wire of a microwave.
The second concern is that a long thread may suggest that the coil was not properly sited. It may just be in the vagina or down the neck of the womb.

In any of the above cases, she is at risk of pregnancy.

Now that she cannot see the thread at all, it is likely the coil has fallen out.

The best thing to do if you think you can see your thread on the outside is to go and see your coil provider to check if the coil is in the right place. Do not have sex: you may be at risk of pregnancy. If you must have sex, before you can get the coil checked out, use a condom very carefully.
In case you are wondering why we leave some thread at all, this is what we grasp on to remove the coil when its time to come out. Many women also feel for the threads to reassure themselves that the coil is still in place.

Remember to send in your sexual health questions to
You can read about contraceptions in our book: ”Understanding Contraception”

understanng contraception
buy now

Posted in Contraception | 2 Comments

ABC of PRE-Eclampsia: A Tribute to the late Kefee Don Momoh ”Branama Queen.”

Kefee, sexualwellbeingnetworkAttention please!
This article is for you if you are pregnant, have just had a baby or know someone who is pregnant.

Many pregnancies happen uneventfully. The woman goes into hospital and comes out with a baby – wonderful!
But occasionally things do not go as planned. Sometimes, a condition called Pre-eclampsia rears its ugly head in pregnancy and can have devastating consequences.

Pre-eclampsia is not a topic usually featured on this blog. But I have written this in response to a request from a reader asking that I use this medium to raise awareness of this condition following the death of Nigerian singer Kefee Don Momoh who was loved for her catchy tunes such as ‘Branama’ and ‘Kokoroko.’
Reports by popular media at the time of her death revealed that the singer was said to have been 6 months’ pregnant when she died of complications of Pre-eclampsia.

I do not have any direct links with her family, was not involved in her medical management and cannot confirm what she died of but I just want to use this medium to encourage all pregnant women to ensure they ATTEND PRE-NATAL-CARE as a way of preventing unnecessary death from Pre-eclampsia.Kefee, sexualwellbeingnetwork, Adaeze Ifezulike

So what is Pre-eclampsia?
This is a medical condition which occurs in some pregnant women or women who have just been delivered of a baby due to problems with the placenta through which the baby in the womb is fed.
At the initial stage, the woman may not feel anything at all.
The signs (which can be detected at ante-natal care) may be high blood pressure and protein in urine.
The woman may also notice some symptoms such as headache, blurring of her vision, pain at the upper right side of her tummy and swelling of her face, ankles, feet and hands.

The only cure for pre-eclampsia is to deliver the baby.

Kefee, Branama, Sexual wellbeing NetworkThere is still so much science does not know about Pre-ecampsia and research is ongoing to understand what it is about the placenta that causes pre-eclampsia.
Some studies suggest the following risk factors for Pre-eclampsia:

  • first pregnancy or first pregnancy with a change of partner.
  • is likely to happen in the next pregnancy if it happened before.
  •  Age above 40 years
  • may occur if your mum or sister had pre-eclampsia
  • more than 10 years between pregnancies.
  • if you already have hypertension, kidney problems or Diabetes before the pregnancy.

So what should you be doing if you are pregnant??
1. Attend every single pre-natal appointment during your pregnancy. Please don’t be slack about this. Many women say ‘they just check my blood pressure, that’s all’ so they miss their appointments because they don’t understand the value of the pre-natal checks.
2. Ensure that your blood pressure is checked EVERY TIME you attend the clinic. Please be involved: no harm in knowing what your blood pressure is like usually and keeping an eye on what its doing during your pregnancy and in the few weeks afterwards.
3. Ensure that your urine is checked EVERY TIME you attend the clinic. Protein in urine can be an important sign of pre-eclampsia. If you are not asked, please speak up and ask to have your urine checked.
4. Swelling of your feet can be normal in pregnancy but sudden weight gain or excessive swelling especially if there is also puffiness of your face, around your eyes and hands may be an important symptom of pre-eclampsia: ensure that you bring this to the attention of your health care provider immediately.
5. Very painful headache that isn’t easing with simple painkillers, and which is making your eyes sensitive to light or causing your vision to be blurred should be reported IMMEDIATELY so that your blood pressure can be checked.
6. Sudden appearance of nausea and vomiting long after morning sickness of early pregnancy has ceased should be checked out.Kefee, sexual wellbeing network, Adaeze Ifezulike
7. Tummy pains especially the upper right side of the tummy but also at the shoulder may be a sign of liver problem which can occur in pre-eclampsia
8. Breathing problems may be a sign of fluids accumulating in your lungs: please report this to your doctor immediately.

If you are found to have pre-eclampsia, the doctor would monitor you very closely and may have to deliver the baby before its due to save your life.
Complicated pre-eclampsia can result in seizures (Eclampsia) and death of both mother and baby.

Pre-eclampsia occurs in less than 10% of all pregnancies and if diagnosed and managed appriopriately, can still result in a good outcome for the woman and also the baby.

RIP Branama Queen.

We hope this tribute helps to save other lives from Pre-eclampsia.

Posted in Black Heroes, Pre-Eclampsia | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

HIV? Me? No, I am married! (17)

HIV, Black women, Hepatitis“Yes, that’s wise. It will be good if you all get tested and we can arrange
that for you.”

”Meanwhile if someone has a bloodborne virus like HIV, it is good medical
practice to check for other bloodborne viruses like hepatitis as these can
sometimes go together because they can be passed on in similar ways.”

”Hepatitis?’ Nma frowned “Isn’t that a liver problem?”

”Yes it is. It can be…..’

”That’s what grandma had when her eyes were all yellow,” Aka interjected. Nma

”Yes, hepatitis can cause jaundice which is what makes the eye appear yellow.
There are different types: You can get hepatitis A from contaminated food, That’s
not a big problem but the ones we worry about are Hepatitis B and C. These can be
acquired by using unsterilised needles, sexual intercourse, using unscreened
blood or blood products…

”I had a blood transfusion after I gave birth to Aka…so I might have this
hepatitis too?” Nma started crying again.

”Hei, dont think like that,” I chided. ”We need to do a blood test to find out
first. No need worrying yourself to death about something you might not have.”

”Mum please take it easy,” Aka pleaded.

”We don’t have to do it immediately if you would rather take some time to think
about it.”

Nma looked blankly ahead.

”Doctor, lets sort out the HIV first and maybe do the hepatitis later,” Aka

”Fine,” I handed her some information leaflets on hepatitis.

”So how do we get rid of mum’s HIV?” she asked.

To be continued. Remember to subscribe by email so you dont miss the rest of the story.

How are you coping with HIV? Do you have Hepatits B or C and would like to encourage others with your story? Please get in touch here

Posted in Hepatitis, HIV | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Writing 101 day 4: Today, write about a loss.

Writing 101Hmmm this is a tough one.

But I shall try to put something down- after all, I signed up for the challenge.

I met an amazing young man many years ago. He was just perfect!

He was every inch a ”dream man” and I was all out to say ‘Yes’ if he was to pop the big question.

But one day something happened that shattered my dreams.

He said something that had alarm bells crazily crashing in my head.

Its like when you are getting to a junction and the traffic lights suddenly turn red….it means STOP!

I knew this meant STOP the relationship. It was painful but I had to do it.

He had gone to visit his family and came back. I asked how everyone was. He said they were all alright but that his sister upset him very badly.

”Oh? What happened?” I asked.

‘Well, she did so and so and I got so angry and I beat her and beat her…..’

I could see him getting all worked up again as he remembered the incident. I could feel the hot anger and energy as he recounted how he beat her. I felt a dread come over me. I felt chilled to the bones in the hot weather.

”How old is your sister?” I finally managed to ask, in a small voice.

His sister was just about my age!!

It was red lights like I had never seen it before.

I knew then that a man who can beat his sister (who was my age mate) the way he was describing will definitely beat me when we marry. I knew then that I had to leave the relationship. I knew that it will be an abusive relationship. He was an angry young man waiting to make someone’s life miserable.

I moan his loss but I celebrate my courage in leaving the relationship.

1 in 4 women are victims of domestic abuse and 3 women die worldwide from domestic abuse every day.

Dear lady looking for relationship and ready for marriage: please watch out for the red flags. Don’t be in such a hurry to get into a man’s embrace that you fail to stop at the traffic light. It may cost you your life.

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