A PRICK OR A POKE?

Women’s orgasms, we are told, are much stronger than that of men’s and normally longer in duration. Also, multiple orgasm is something that some women enjoy, whereas men do not experience such a gift. Researchers have now found that those women who have Botox treatment to smooth out facial wrinkles are less likely to achieve orgasms. Injections of the toxic substance paralyse nerves making it difficult to produce the full range of facial expressions.

Psychologists at Cardiff University have discovered that, as a result, women find it harder to communicate to lovers that they are enjoying sex. This, the researchers say, affects performance between the sheets and blunts the women’s feeling of physical enjoyment. Dr Michael Lewis, who led the research, explained: ‘that just as people find it difficult to be ecstatically happy without actually smiling, so people struggle to reach orgasm without having full control of the muscles in their face.’

He said: ‘Facial expressions associated with orgasm utilised the same muscles targeted in typical botulinum toxin cosmetic treatments. The predicted consequence of having treatment is that women may feel an orgasm to a lesser extent and may find it harder to reach climax. Analysis from our study suggests that’s what is happening.’

The study involved 36 women, 24 of whom had been treated with botulinum toxin, measuring their female sexual function index orgasm satisfaction score. Those whose frown lines had been injected reported a notable drop in their satisfaction score.

Writing in the journal Scientific Reports, Dr Lewis said: ‘Reduction of mobility in these muscles may interfere with the expression and feedback of excitement during sexual activity. The current research which provides support for this hypothesis is that participants reported that following BTX treatment , there was a decrease in sexual function – especially orgasms – which were harder to achieve and less satisfying.’ He added: ‘the results suggest that facial expressions do not occur simply to communicate pleasure. They are an integral part of the feeling of pleasure and are important in the process of achieving orgasm. This demonstrates an important cue for facial feedback within sexual intercourse and it is potentially a significant negative impact from BTX treatment.’

It’s news that could well have women furrowing their brows – if they still can.

So, the choice is clear – Botox or orgasm? I know which I would choose if I were a woman…

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Last weekend, as usual, I read most of the newspapers and quite frankly the more I read the more disillusioned I felt. Politics has become unbearably a profession that seems to have lost its bearings and with it its respectability.

The Tory administration is no longer worthy of its position to lead the nation and is in a bubbling situation of its own making. The Prime Minister has lost credibility and is vilified by most of the nation, described as a lady bereft of any credentials to lead us, let alone extricate the country from a situation likely to immerse into a disastrous outcome.

No one appears to know where we are going, and the omens seem to get worse with the passage of time. We reach a stage where Brexiteers and Remainers are both groping in the dark. Even the British community of 200,000 living in France are applying for French passports, which is rather shameful but understandable.

We have no friends left in Europe and our reliance on the US is almost laughable. It is time that Theresa May stops this charade and resigns forthwith. The Tories should turn to someone within their ranks who will be able to save us from the catastrophe waiting to happen.

The Labour Party is also in total disarray, but seems to appeal to the young
generation and will certainly come to power if the present Tory administration
does not clean its act and appoint a new leader. There is no time left to waste.
Corbyn is at the door. He must be stopped. His economic policies will ruin the
country for decades to come.

The Ides of March are, so to speak, a real threat. We must take heed before it’s
too late.

INDESCRIBABLE

Last evening we celebrated the launch of a remarkable book ” Indescribable by Candice Derman at Daunt Books, 112-114 Holland Park Avenue, London, W11 4UA.

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Here is the short address I made to an illustrious crowd which came to pay tribute to Candice who merited all their attention:

” We are here this evening to mark the publication of INDESCRIBABLE, a book by Candice Derman, someone who suffered horribly at the hands of her stepfather Joe when she was only eight years old. It has taken immense courage for her to describe what she went through – sexual abuse the likes of which we could hardly imagine.

Her recollection is sharp and precise whilst her innocence makes the reader full of admiration for her tenacity, but at the same time, despite the brutality of her attacker, remains steadfast and bewildered at what was happening to her by refusing to panic in circumstances beyond her comprehension.

Child sexual abuse is a terrible crime which must not be overlooked, yet the Establishment often seems to have tired of giving it the attention it requires to stem its practice.

One may well ask why Quartet in particular has decided to publish this book. The answer is plain. Quartet built its reputation, since its inception, on challenging the Establishment, with books that rocked the conscience of those whose have the power to change things for the better. Candice’s book, beautifully written with a pathos that melts the heart and a courage one rarely encounters, in such a piece of writing.

It must be read, and so I appeal to everyone here to buy a copy to promote it throughout the nation, so that everybody knows that such evil continues to be perpetrated on young children.

Sex is a gift from God and must never be manipulated into a situation that causes such pain and anguish.”

IT’S ALL IN THE GUT

A tempestuous relationship has never been good for one’s health. Scientists have now discovered that having a row, even with your spouse over the in-laws or money, can quite literally make you sick to your stomach. The impact of stress from heated discussions can cause stomach contents to leak from the gut into the blood stream. This can lead to inflammation raising the risk of significant illnesses.

Researchers recruited 43 healthy married couples, asked them about their relationships, and then encouraged them to discuss and try to resolve an issue likely to provoke strong disagreements. The emotive subjects discussed included finances and in-laws. Their blood was tested for a marker chemical known as LBP which indicates the presence of bacteria. Couples who had the nastiest rows measured by aggressive language and gestures, harsh criticism of a partner, and dramatic eye-rolls, had the highest level of LBP.

Dr Janice Kielcolt-Glaser, a psychiatric professor at Ohio State University, who led the research, said: ‘We think this everyday marital distress – at least for some people – is causing changes in the gut that lead to inflammation and potentially, illness. Hostility is a hallmark of bad marriages, the kind that lead to adverse psychological changes,’ she added.

The participants ranged in age from 24 to 61 and had been married at least three years. The researchers compared blood taken before the argument to that taken afterwards. Michael Bailey, co-author of the study said: ‘With leaky gut, the structures that are usually really good at keeping the gunk in our gut – the partially digested food, bacteria and other products – degrade and that barrier becomes less effective.’ Earlier research has found marital discord can slow wound healing and drive up for inflammation – related diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.

Although this research relates in principle to marital discord I find that the same symptoms happen to me whenever I have significant rows, be it at work or with a close relation or even in a heated political argument.

THE BLESSED LAND OF NOD

Missing out on sleep could apparently cause men who stay up late at night to end up with lower testosterone. A study found that for every hour of sleep lost below the average of 6.9 hours, leads to a 1.5% fall in levels of the hormone.

Researchers, led by the University of Miami, looked at the average sleep of almost 2,300 men, which ranged from two to twelve hours a night. Despite the recorded falls, testosterone levels stayed within the normal range. The study also found a higher body mass and alcohol consumption drove down readings. Sleep may cut testosterone by disrupting brain signals that control the sex hormone. The study, presented at a meeting in Denver, states that sleep quality should be taken into account when studying falling levels, which can lead to a loss of sex drive, depression and fatigue.

Professor Darren Griffin, President of the International Chromosome & Genome Society, said: ‘This perhaps should come as no surprise. Sleep deprivation has a number of adverse health effects and we all know how badly we function when we’ve not had a good night’s sleep.’

I could not agree more. Deprivation of sleep, which I often suffer from, leaves me in a terrible state of fatigue and can easily lead to depression. We must not let this happen to any of us.

GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME…

Jeremy Bending is an internationally recognised authority on diabetes and its treatment. Having published more than 50 scientific papers in academic journals on the subject and founded an award-winning diabetes team and centre in Eastbourne, he was a consultant physician in diabetes and endocrinology there for 27 years, retiring eventually in 2014.

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What is unusual about Jeremy is that whenever he was asked at a party what exactly does a physician do, he would simply reply: ‘I don’t cut anything out, or stick anything in for I am basically a listening doctor.’

When he came to see me with a view to publishing A LISTENING DOCTOR, I found myself unhesitatingly inclined to publish his new offering, for the man’s honesty and lack of pomposity were his most appealing characteristics. I was right, and the book is attracting rather splendid reviews.

Here is the latest review which I hope will convince our readers to acquire a copy of his splendid autobiography.

“Autobiographies by surgeons are quite common. In the last few years they have included a distinguished retired neurosurgeon, a young gynaecologist and a best seller, written by a young man who, disillusioned, gave up early in his career.

Physicians seem to be more reticent, so this interesting and well-written volume, by a recently retired physician who set up the diabetic unit at Eastbourne, is welcomed.

Dr Jeremy Bending qualified in medicine at the old Westminster Medical School (now part of Imperial College,
London) in 1974. He mentions that I was his Professor of Surgery at that time, but refrains from saying whether this was related to his choosing medicine rather than surgery for his future career. He received valuable experience working as a medical student in Accra, Ghana and later as a physician to isolated fishing communities in Newfoundland.

As a research fellow at Guy’s Hospital, London, he was involved in the early development of the insulin pump. In 1987 he was appointed consultant physician at Eastbourne with the remit to set up a specialized diabetic and endocrine service, retiring in 2014.

Dr Bending ranges over the changes, sadly not all for the better, that he has seen in the NHS, where the administration seems increasingly to impede rather than to catalyse the effective management of patients in the name of ‘ efficiency’. Nicely written and full of medical anecdotes, he stresses, in these days of high technology, the value of the physician being a ‘listening doctor’.
Harold Ellis, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London”

KEEP YOUR PECKER UP!

Who says size does not matter? It seems that, contrary to public perception, size really does matter, especially when it comes to fertility, as a new study suggests. Men who are infertile are also less well endowed. Having a shorter appendage was more common in men who were struggling to conceive, than in those with other genital health problems. The research, to be presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Conference in Colorado, is the first to link penile length with fertility.

It found that on average, men who were infertile were around one centimeter shorter than their fertile counterparts. Those without reproductive issues had an average length of 13.4 centimeters, while those in the infertile group were 12.5 centimeters.

Dr Austen Slade, from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, who led the study, said healthy men should not begin to fret over their size and their chance of becoming a father. He said underlying conditions that caused infertility, such as hormonal issues or problems in the testes, may also lead to a shorter penile length. ‘This is the first study to identify an association between shorter penile length and male infertility,’ he said. ‘It’s possibly a manifestation of congenital or genetic factors that predispose one to infertility. For now, men with shorter penises don’t need to worry about their fertility.

The study looked at data on 815 men visiting a health clinic between 2014 and 2017. There were 219 men seeking help for infertility, and 596 seeking help for other conditions such as erectile dysfunction and testicular pain. The men were all measured using a standard test called ‘stretched penile length’ which estimates the length of a penis when erect.

When they took into account weight, race and age, those being treated for infertility were just below one centimeter shorter than those who were fertile. ‘One centimeter may not be a striking difference but there was a clear statistical difference. It remains to be determined if there is a different penile- length-cut-off that would predict more severe infertility,’ Dr Slade added.

Previous research has shown that physical problems with male genitals can affect fertility. Men with a condition called Cryptorchidism – where the testes do not descend properly – have poorer sperm production. This is because the testes are located too close to the body, allowing the sperm to become too hot. Men with small testes have also been found to produce less sperm.

Professor Sheena Lewis, an expert in reproduction from Queen’s University Belfast, said the study raised more questions than it answered. ‘Doctors would not want to measure this in clinic, so as a study the findings are not really clinically usable. This is a very novel idea but the study does not tell us what a normal penile length is. It does not say if the shorter penis found in the study is abnormal. More research is needed.’

But take heart men with short penises, as more research can perhaps prove that the whole caboodle could  turn out to be a false alarm.