My IVF life: the fake ass, the trigger shot and how I decided to get pregnant

In this new column, Jean Hannah Edelstein starts the complicated journey to conceive using in-vitro fertilization – and takes readers with her

Don’t make jokes, I say to E.

We pause outside the hospital classroom. It’s 9.30am on a sunny morning in Manhattan and we’re about to enter a roomful of people who are here for an introduction to IVF treatment.

Related: 'Artificial ovary' could help women conceive after chemotherapy

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‘I nearly died’: Richard Bacon pays tribute to NHS after health ordeal

Presenter says he thought at one point ‘this is it’ after falling ill with double chest infection

Richard Bacon has said he thought his life was about to end and paid tribute to the NHS after waking from a medically induced coma.

The television and radio presenter was taken to hospital 11 days ago after falling ill on a flight to Britain from the United States. He said on Monday that the condition, initially diagnosed as pneumonia in both lungs, was now being treated as an unidentified double chest infection.

2/2 How’s is this going to affect my kids’ lives? Who’s going to sit my poor dad down and say“I’m sorry, we did everything we could”. But then I didn’t die. And I didn’t die because I’m on the NHS . VivaTheNHS. See you for your th. By which time I probably will have penumonia

This is how good Lewisham Hospital is. I walked in off the street simply complaining of being short of breath. With 90 minutes they had placed me into a life saving six day coma. #VivaTheNHS.

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Queensland moves to decriminalise abortion within months

Fierce debate looms, with no guarantee legislation to allow women to terminate a pregnancy up to 22 weeks will pass

Abortion would be removed from the Queensland criminal code under legislation that will be brought before the state parliament next month.

As revealed by Guardian Australia on Saturday, the proposed laws will make abortion available up to 22 weeks and provide safe access zones around abortion clinics.

Related: 'Young and terrified': the Queensland women forced to go interstate for abortions

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Nearly 8 million people providing care for family members without pay

Charities call for investment in care system, saying carers are losing out

The number of people caring for a family member has reached 7.6 million, a sharp increase of one million compared with a decade ago.

Data analysis by the Social Market Foundation, an independent thinktank, shows that millions are now giving up their time to for free to look after elderly relatives, a partner or a sick or disabled child – with the number spending 20 hours or more caring for a relative up by 4% between 2005 and 2015.

Related: UK Census: the toll of being an unpaid carer

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‘Through organ donation, someone’s death equals new life’

An NHS trust chief explains how undergoing a kidney transplant shaped his views

Matthew Robbins is the chief executive of the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS trust in north-east London. Here he talks to Denis Campbell about the kidney transplant he underwent last year and why he supports switching to a “presumed consent” system of organ donation.

I have adult polycystic kidney disease, which I inherited from my mother Val. When she was diagnosed with it in 1993 the NHS staff looking after her advised that her children – myself and my sisters Ruth and Marie – needed to go and get tested too.

Related: NHS opt-in transplant policy at risk due to cuts and staff stress

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NHS opt-in transplant policy at risk due to cuts and staff stress

Report shows transplant service short of necessary skilled staff and equipment

Plans to save hundreds of lives by making everyone in England a potential organ donor could fail because hospitals are so short of transplant surgeons and specialist nurses, the NHS’s own analysis of the policy has revealed.

Lives could be lost because teams of organ retrieval specialists are already under “extreme stress” and understaffed transplant centres are struggling to keep up with existing demand, according to NHS Blood and Transplant’s (NHSBT) impact assessment of switching to a system of presumed consent.

Related: 'Through organ donation, someone’s death equals new life'

The UK has fewer doctors and nurses than many other comparable countries both in Europe and worldwide. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain comes 24th in a league table of 34 member countries in terms of the number of doctors per capita. Greece, Austria and Norway have the most; the three countries with the fewest are Turkey, Chile and Mexico. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, regularly points out that the NHS in England has more doctors and nurses than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010. That is true, although there are now fewer district nurses, mental health nurses and other types of health professionals.

Between 2010-11 and 2016-17, health spending increased by an average of 1.2% above inflation and increases are due to continue in real terms at a similar rate until the end of this parliament. This is far below the annual inflation-proof growth rate that the NHS enjoyed before 2010 of almost 4% stretching back to the 1950s. As budgets tighten, NHS organisations have been struggling to live within their means. In the financial year 2015-16, acute trusts recorded a deficit of £2.6bn. This was reduced to £800m last year, though only after a £1.8bn bung from the Department of Health, which shows the deficit remained the same year on year.

Related: Why I donated one of my kidneys to a stranger

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Songs in the key of strife: the musician putting anxiety centrestage

Keaton Henson, who suffers from depression, has teamed up with a ‘rollercoaster thrill engineer’ to create a unique musical experiment. And they’ve hooked the audience up to the lighting to monitor their response

One of the truly wretched things about mental illness is that it is very hard to describe what it’s like. Words aren’t enough – even good ones.

But what about music? If the strings in Psycho can make us quail and the warm orchestral resolutions in Cinema Paradiso can make us cry, is there music that can make us understand what depression and anxiety feel like?

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Humanists campaign for more non-religious NHS ‘chaplains’

Bid to combat what is seen as discrimination against non-believers while in the care of the health service

For people of faith, when they face serious ill-health or an operation, being able to seek solace in their beliefs is vital. Even more so when they reach the end of life.

Now humanists are campaigning to end what they see as discrimination against non-religious people being treated by the NHS, by urging that chaplains – or what they term non-religious pastoral carers – are hired to cater for non-believers.

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Smokers forced to quit on their own after funding cuts

Prescriptions for drugs that help kick the habit fall by 75% in England, report says

Thousands of smokers are being left without the support they need to quit after prescriptions of products to help them stop plummeted by 75% over the last decade, according to a report.

GPs are the most common first port of call for smokers who want to beat their addiction in England – 38% of smokers choose this route.

Related: Britain is winning the war on tobacco, health chief insists

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The inconvenient truth about cancer and mobile phones

We dismiss claims about mobiles being bad for our health – but is that because studies showing a link to cancer have been cast into doubt by the industry?

On 28 March this year, the scientific peer review of a landmark United States government study concluded that there is “clear evidence” that radiation from mobile phones causes cancer, specifically, a heart tissue cancer in rats that is too rare to be explained as random occurrence.

Eleven independent scientists spent three days at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, discussing the study, which was done by the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services and ranks among the largest conducted of the health effects of mobile phone radiation. NTP scientists had exposed thousands of rats and mice (whose biological similarities to humans make them useful indicators of human health risks) to doses of radiation equivalent to an average mobile user’s lifetime exposure.

Neutralising the safety issue has opened the door to the biggest prize of all: the Internet of Things

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Stephanie Saville obituary

My friend Stephanie Saville, who has died aged 91, was an anaesthetist who witnessed and participated in huge changes in medical practice throughout her career.

At a time when women were only beginning to forge careers in the competitive world of medicine, Stephanie was a role model for many female junior hospital doctors.

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UK schools move to ban the school run to protect pupils from air pollution

Thousands of schools across the country are taking measures such as closing roads and setting up park and stride schemes

Schools across the country are moving to ban the school run amid growing concern about the devastating impact of air pollution on young people’s health.

The Guardian has found that thousands of schools in cities and towns – from Edinburgh to London, Manchester to Ellesmere Port – are taking measures to try to deter parents using their cars. These include closing roads, setting up “park and stride” schemes, walk-to-school initiatives and “playing dead” protests.

Are you a parent concerned about pollution caused by the school run? Do you have positive experience based on action taken by a school? Do you work for a school or local authority?

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Upsurge in sleeping problems due to UK’s longest heatwave in 40 years

People left tired, irritable and less productive at work after nights of poor shuteye

Britain’s longest heatwave since 1976 has led to a upsurge in sleeping problems, with people left tired, irritable and less productive at work after sweaty nights of poor-quality shuteye.

Record temperatures of up to 32.4C (90.3F) have been stopping many people getting a proper rest as they struggle to get to sleep in rooms that are uncomfortably warm, experts say.

Related: Sleep soundly and beat the heat – put your pillow in the fridge

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Doctors warn of rise in addiction to prescription drugs bought online

High number of adults seeking treatment at a clinic set up for teenagers after illicitly buying drugs such as Xanax to treat anxiety

A pioneering clinic set up to help teenagers addicted to Xanax and other prescription drugs is being sought out by adults who use pills purchased illicitly on the internet.

At the beginning of the year Dr Owen Bowden-Jones opened the Addiction to Online Medicine (Atom) service in London, a free, easy-to-access NHS clinic which offers one-to-one meetings and group mindfulness sessions.

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Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $4.7bn in talc powder claim

Lawyers for 22 women said the firm hid evidence that its talc products contained asbestos

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay nearly $4.7bn (£3.58bn) in damages to 22 women who claim the company’s talcum powder contributed to them developing ovarian cancer.

Mark Lanier, lead counsel for the women, six of whom have died from ovarian cancer, said that Johnson & Johnson had covered up evidence of asbestos in its products for more than 40 years.

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From Ebola to Nipah: are we ready for the next epidemic? – Science Weekly podcast

The 2014 Ebola outbreak killed over 10,000 people before it was eventually brought under control. As new infectious diseases appear around the world, what can we learn from past outbreaks to better prepare ourselves?

Subscribe and review on Acast, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom and Mixcloud. Join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter

Somewhere in the world there’s a bat, a monkey or a pig with a virus that could jump into humans and become the next major epidemic, or even pandemic. This is what happened with Ebola, a disease first detected in humans in the 1970s. When the 2014 west Africa outbreak finally ended in 2016 it had killed over 10,000 people and infected nearly 30,000.

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NHS operation waiting lists reach 10-year high at 4.3m patients

NHS ability to meet targets will define Matt Hancock’s time as health secretary, say unions

The number of patients waiting for an operation on the NHS has reached 4.3 million, the highest total for 10 years, official figures show.

Growing numbers are having to wait more than the supposed maximum of 18 weeks for planned non-urgent surgery such as a cataract removal or hip or knee replacement.

Related: It’s now clear: austerity is bad for your health | Dawn Foster

Related: Sharp rise in under-19s being treated by NHS mental health services

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