March 2012

Counsellor wanted!

Men's Sexual Health is looking for a Volunteer Counsellor to work with our organisation. We are seeking a keen, enthusiastic and dedicated individual, who can work with our client group under a voluntary post. This would suit a trainee counsellor who is looking for a work placement to fulfil their qualification requirements, or any qualified counsellor who is willing to donate their time and skills and who has a passion for this area of work.

Ideally the person would live in or near Swindon, where our service is based, and would be able to get into the main centre where we have a building suitable for your use.  We anticipate a commitment of approximately 2 hours per week, depending on the number of clients who wish to access our counselling service. It would be beneficial to our clients for you to have a specific interest in discussing topics such as:  sexuality, depression, substance use issues, relationship difficulties, self image & self worth, domestic violence and erectile dysfunction. You will be required to have a full CRB check before starting with us, at our expense. If this exciting post interests you please email or call 01793 250951

Bowel Cancer Month

April is Bowel Cancer awareness month and Men’s Sexual Health thinks it’s an important topic all men and their partners should be made more aware of. You have probably seen the current adverts on TV that the government are running to improve people’s understanding of this form of cancer. We’d like to provide you with a few more facts and information in preparation for next month’s campaign:

Someone dies from Bowel Cancer every 30 minutes and it is the third most common cancer in the UK. More than 37,000 people are diagnosed with bowel and colorectal cancer every year in Britain. It claims almost 16,000 lives and it’s the second biggest killer, second only to lung cancer. It affects men and women, particularly those who are over 50. However, the sooner a patient is diagnosed with bowel cancer, the better their chances of survival.

The good news is that Bowel Cancer can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases if it is diagnosed at an early stage, before it has had a chance to grow and spread.

The symptoms of bowel (colorectal) cancer can be:

·Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo

·A change in bowel habit lasting for 3 weeks or more especially looser or runny poo

·Unexplained weight loss

·Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason

·A pain or lump in your tummy

You might experience one, some, or all of the above or no symptoms at all. Remember most symptoms will not be bowel cancer.

If you are worried about any symptoms that you think might be caused by Bowel Cancer, make an appointment with your doctor. You’re not wasting anyone’s time by getting your symptoms checked out and if it’s not serious, your mind will be put at rest. However, if it turns out to be a condition such as Bowel Cancer, early detection can make all the difference. A trip to your doctor’s surgery could save your life!

If you are aged 60-69 you’ll be sent bowel ‘screening’ kits every two years.

If you are aged 70 or over you can request a kit by phoning 0800 707 60 60, although in some parts of the country you will be sent kits up until you are 75.

It’s really important that you use the kits, as they can help to catch Bowel Cancer early, before you have any symptoms.

Experts say that these screening kits can significantly reduce the risk of dying from Bowel Cancer. They can also detect polyps, which can be easily removed. Polyps aren’t cancers, but in some cases they can develop into cancer.

By taking some simple steps to improve your diet and taking regular exercise you can help to reduce your risk of bowel cancer. So it is important to:

  • consider what you are eating
  • eat plenty of fibre
  • eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
  • avoid processed meats and have no more than 500g of red meat per week
  • keep active with regular exercise
  • keep hydrated and avoid drinks containing caffeine
  • know your alcohol limits
  • don't smoke
  • know the symptoms of bowel cancer and act on them if you have any concerns
  • take part in the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in your area when you are invited. This involves completing a simple test which can help identify whether further investigation is necessary

If you have any more concerns about Bowel Cancer, check out the NHS website

or the Bowel Cancer UK website

Condoms - Does Size Really Matter?!

Condoms are an important part of a good healthy and safe sex life, so it’s important that you find the right one, just like you would with any other safety equipment you would plan to purchase. Most men would admit they don’t know much about the condoms they buy or the different types and sizes that are available to them, and yet most have had experiences where the condom has either fallen off, or split, both of which could lead to possible infection if one partner was infected.

Most condoms will fit people length wise, because if you continue to roll out a condom you will see they are long enough for nearly all men. However the width (girth) does vary and this is the important part to measure.

If you have a tape measure to hand, next time you are alone and erect, measure your width and this general guide should help you to find the right size condom for you.

If you are under 12cm circumference round then you will most likely suit a Trim fit condom, 12-13cm then a regular size condom will probably suit you, 13-14cm then a large size condom would suit you and anything over 14cm you should go for a king size condom.

Remember this is just a guide, if when you have measured for some reason it still doesn’t fit, then go for the next size up or down accordingly.  Also different companies who make condoms have different sizes in each type, so one company’s version of trim might be bigger or smaller than another different company’s trim.

So the best thing to do is go out and buy a good selection of sizes and brands and go home and have some fun by yourself to find the best one, that way when it comes to using them with someone else, there will be less fumbling and concerns of it falling off or splitting. A lot of men worry over penis size and will over estimate and purchase a size too big, it’s better to be honest and get the size that really represents what you have, it’s important to be safe when having sex to reduce risk of transmission of STI's, HIV and preventing unwanted pregnancy.

Other things to remember when it comes to condoms: make sure the foil is intact, there should be a feel of air in the foil pack; check the expiry date is fine and that is has the BSi Kitemark and CE mark, this is especially important if you are travelling abroad, so ensure you purchase before you leave if you can. Finally make sure you have a water based lube to accompany your condom, this again will reduce the risk of tearing the condom.

If you happen to live in Swindon then you can order free condoms and lube from our website, just click on the link at the top right of the main website page. Any orders outside of Swindon will not be sent, and only one order per month.