What REALLY happens when you give birth? From your waters breaking to just how much it hurts, experts reveal the truth...

What REALLY happens when you give birth?

It is the most natural thing in the world - and what the female form has evolved to do. Millions of babies are born across the world each year, and yet for many women, the joy of discovering they are pregnant for the first time quickly gives way to fear of childbirth - and fear of the unknown. Everyone knows that childbirth hurts, but how bad will the pain get? How long will it go on for? Will the pain be constant? What happens in the delivery room and importantly, what pain relief is available? From going into labour, to delivering your baby and the aftermath, here leading experts reveal to MailOnline what really happens when your baby makes its appearance...

Revealed, why coffee keeps us awake: High levels of caffeine 'produce the same effect as jet lag' - making the body think it's a whole time zone behind

The British and US research doesn't just reinforce the advice to avoid caffeine in the evening - it also suggests that the stimulant could be used to treat jet lag.

Are YOU orthorexic? Take this test to find out if an obsession with healthy eating is making you ill 

Professor Charlotte Markey, a psychologist at Rutgers University, explains how to tell if a person suffers froAm 'normal' healthy eating - or orthorexia - a 'health food eating disorder'.

Sorry Nicole Arbour, fat shaming DOESN'T work - it actually makes people GAIN weight, leading expert claims 

Responding to American comedian Nicole Arbour's fat rant last week, Dr Eric Robinson, of the University of Liverpool, said 'fat-shaming' is stressful, upsetting and doesn't overweight people.

The most terrifying case of head lice ever: Stomach churning video shows bugs crawling through man's hair and around his FOREHEAD

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The footage, which has no doubt been causing parents of school-age children to reach for a comb, demonstrates what happens if an infestation is left untreated.

The obese THREE-year-old who has type 2 diabetes: 5st girl from Texas is thought to be youngest ever case of the disease

Doctors treating the unidentified girl (file pic used), from Houston, Texas, said her parents were also obese and the family had 'poor nutritional habits' and 'uncontrolled' intake of calories and fats.

From drinking vinegar to making time for sex... the 50 things you can do to boost your health right NOW

Ten leading health experts from a London centre, reveal their top tips to boosting your wellbeing straight away - and they're as simple as laughing everyday, taking a cold shower and meditating.

Three-year-old girl born with a sealed mouth goes under the knife in hope of being able to speak and eat for the first time

Filipino girl born with a sealed mouth goes under the knife

Amethyst Santos, from Manila in the Philippines, was born with her lower lip attached to the base of her mouth, her upper and lower jawbones fused and an underdeveloped lower jaw. She suffers from oromandibular limb hypogenesis syndrome. Pictured (right) before the operation to open her mouth and after (inset). Amethyst her parents Estrellita and Rolando (right) have helped Amethyst flourish. Amethyst was also born with no hands and feet, but has learned to walk, play with her two older sisters - and now she can even smile.

Woman became pregnant with twins carrying a genetic disease after IVF clinic's screening method to detect flaws FAILED 

The unidentified woman was treated at Care Fertility Nottingham, which has reported five previous serious incidents relating to genetic testing, a new report by the fertility watchdog states.

Global drug giant GSK 'published a flawed study which led to millions of children being wrongly prescribed dangerous antidepressants'

A BMJ study has revealed serious flaws in a trial by GlaxoSmithKline that claimed the drug Seroxat was 'well tolerated' in children with depression. In fact it is 'no more effective than a placebo'.

Swap spaghetti for courgetti, serve on smaller plates and DON'T eat dinner in front of the TV: The tricks that will help you to eat less but still feel full

Trying to shed the last few pounds but to no avail? FEMAIL has worked with Frida Harju, nutritionist at health and fitness app Lifesum, for her tips to make yourself feel fuller for longer.

The man who gets drunk on CHIPS: Rare syndrome means carbohydrates turn into alcohol inside Nick's stomach (and left his wife thinking he was an alcoholic)

Nick Hess, 35, of Columbus, Ohio, suffers from a rare condition which means when he eats chips his stomach turns the carbohydrates into alcohol.

Dying father-of-four is denied life-saving cancer drug by the NHS in postcode lottery scandal that's outraged doctors

Dying father denied life-saving cancer drug by the NHS in postcode lottery scandal

Khalid Younis, 43, from Birmingham, suffers from Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia and has become resistant to all drugs. He believes ponatinib would be his last hope of a cure but has been told his case is 'not exceptional' - despite the treatment being freely available in Scotland and Wales. He said: 'It seems crazy. I have even considered moving to Wales so that I can get the treatment, but I worry about putting my family through it. We are in a very sad, vulnerable and stressful situation.'

A Mediterranean diet fights off depression: Loading up on fruit, veg, nuts and olive oil helps ward off illness

The study, based in Gran Canaria, revealed that a diet loaded with fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts and olive oil, with low levels of processed meats, could prevent the onset of depression.

'People need to have faith': Woman with 24 per cent chance of survival claims to have cured her cancer drinking 91 juices per week, having FIVE coffee enemas a day, and using illegal 'black salve' treatment 

Corissa Macklin-Rice in the clear of cancer after a natural treatment plan

Bli Bli mother-of-three, Corissa Macklin-Rice (pictured above), 43, claims to be clear of an aggressive form of breast cancer after choosing to forego traditional treatment in favour of a controversial 'natural' treatment plan. After a double mastectomy surgery, Ms Macklin-Rice became a plant-based vegan and started drinking 13 juices a day and doing five 45-minute-long coffee enemas. She also made her own black salve ointment to draw some recurrent cancerous lumps out of her skin - a cream that is illegal to buy and sell in Australia. Experts say there is no evidence to support her claims and suggest her decision to forego conventional treatment leaves her at greater risk of a recurrence later on.

Like a tipple? There's good news and bad: Drinkers are 24% less likely to suffer a heart attack than teetotallers... but their cancer risk is much higher 

Adult drinkers are up to 24 per cent less likely to suffer a heart attack than teetotallers, Canadian researchers say. However, they are at far more risk of developing cancer.

Understand YOUR dieting flaws: Expert reveals the four weight-loss weak spots - and top tips to boost willpower

From avoiding the colleague who always brings in cake to thinking about why we snack in the first place, identifying 'weak spots' helps dieters stick ot their goals, argues Dr Sally Norton.

Asda recalls thousands of jars of pickled beetroot that could be contaminated with deadly BOTULISM bacteria

A batch of 'Asda Chosen By You Pickled Crinkle Cut Beetroot' might contain Clostridium botulinum, a bacteria that produces some of the world's deadliest naturally-occurring toxins.

A seaside stroll really DOES help you sleep, says study which reveals the 10 best coastal walks...

A study commissioned by the National Trust also found that Britons slept more than half an hour longer after going for an amble along the beach than they did after a ramble inland.

The man with a watermelon-sized scrotum: 25-year-old with swelling weighing a STONE is now desperate for surgery to remove it

Tyrone Bowd with a watermelon-sized scrotum is now desperate for surgery

Tyrone Bowd, 25, from Willowbank, Australia, suffers from scrotal lymphedema - a condition that caused one of his testicles to become abnormally large (pictured left and right). In the past two years his scrotum has swelled from the size of a mango to the size of a watermelon. The enlarged testicle makes it difficult for Mr Bowd to walk, and he has been repeatedly hospitalised with a bacterial infection as a result of it. His mother, Tanya, is raising money to get her son treatment in California, USA, which will allow him to lead a normal life again. But the family, from Willowbank, Australia, is yet to reach the $100,000 (£64,888) needed for the travel and treatment. Mrs Bowd hopes the surgery will help her son lead a normal life again. She said: 'The scrotum is getting so big that he must be in a lot of pain. We just want Tyrone to get better. We want our Tyrone back.'

How much can YOU drink before your vision goes fuzzy? Graphic reveals how alcohol blurs eyesight - with women's affected more than men's

Alcohol causes women's eyesight to blur more quickly than men's, going fuzzy after around three units, compared to five for men, an new interactive graphic claims. A single shot of spirit is one unit.

Air pollution 'will kill up to 6.6 million a year worldwide by 2050' - and emissions from India and China will have the largest impact

Residential emissions - those from heating and cooking - prevalent in India and China have the largest impact on global air pollution, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry experts said.

'I was so raw': Mother posts devastating image of herself sobbing while cradling her newborn baby to shed light on the realities of postpartum depression

Danielle Haines sheds light on postpartum depression with selfie

Danielle Haines of Phoenix, Arizona, a new mother in her 30s, was snapped by one of her seven sisters at home, three days after giving birth to her son Ocean in November 2013, crying and holding her son to her bare bosom. Last week, she decided to post the photo to her personal Facebook, explaining why she was glad her sister had taken the photo.

Could antidepressants make you violent? Young people who take drugs including Prozac are '50% more likely to be convicted of assault and murder'

An Oxford University study has found men and women in their late teens and early 20s are more prone to violence if they take SSRI drugs, including Prozac, Seroxat, Lustral, Cipralex and Cipramil.

How doctors and nurses are 'walking on by' as patients are dying because they don't know how to ease their suffering 

Medical staff are inclined to 'ignore' the terminally ill and 'lose compassion' if they are too busy, MPs were warned. It follows a report earlier this year revealing many patients are dying in agony.

Having a trampoline could land you with a £100,000 bill: Insurer warn parents over huge cost if another family's child is injured playing at their home 

Trampolines and bouncy castles are the chief cause of injury, according to research by Leeds based insurers Direct Line. Next in the danger league come slides then climbing frames and trees.

Which teas are best for YOUR health? Jasmine boosts your libido, lemon and ginger ease morning sickness, while nettle helps combat hayfever, expert reveals

Neema Savvides, of the Harley Street Fertility Clinic, says green tea can increase fertility while cooled nettle tea can be also applied to the skin to relieve dryness and itching.

The perils of being narcoleptic: Student who nods off several times a day becomes the butt of her friends' jokes - and a constant source of amusement on Facebook 

The perils of being narcoleptic: Student who nods off several times a day becomes the butt

Kate Dixon, 18, from Watford, Hertfordshire (pictured left), has narcolepsy and has to schedule three half-an-hour naps during the day to prevent herself from spontaneously snoozing. She falls asleep in taxis on the way to nightclubs, in the staff room at work and on friends' shoulders when they meet up for coffee. Her friends, boyfriend and colleagues have built up a catalogue of photographs of her asleep (pictured right) in various locations and positions - including with crisps on her nose (inset). But luckily, Miss Dixon can see the funny side. She said: 'My friends and family are used to my condition, but I don't think they will ever get bored of taking sneaky photographs of me when I fall asleep in funny places'

Why washing your hands with antibacterial soap is 'NO more effective at killing germs than plain soap'

Triclosan - the active ingredient in antibacterial soap - killed more bacteria after nine hours, but not during the short time required for hand washing, Korean researchers found.

How to make condoms, 19th century style: 'Practical receipt book' from 1884 reveals life hacks from adding radishes to wine to preventing baldness with RUM

'The United States Practical Receipt Book' offers recipes and instructions for everything from how to prevent baldness and make condoms and is housed at the University of Michigan.

Couple forced to bring their wedding day forward so that groom can remember his vows after he is diagnosed with rapid-onset dementia 

Christine Carroll and Taffy Sharlotte hastily arrange their nuptials just months after the father-of-five from Leeds, West Yorkshire, received the news he was suffering from a crippling form of dementia.

Ban on trans fats in processed food could save 7,000 lives over the next five years 

Leading scientists from Oxford, Liverpool and Lancaster universities say ta total ban of trans fats from processed food is 'technically feasible' and would save over 7,000 lives.

Woman is forced to have her leg amputated at the hip after contracting deadly flesh-eating bug 'from a mosquito bite'

Woman forced to have her leg amputated due to deadly infection from mosquito bite

Jodie Francis, 44, of Edison, New Jersey, was taking down Halloween decorations in late 2012 when she began getting pains in her left leg. A few days later she couldn't walk and was sent home from work. The following day she had a raging fever and was in agonising pain,and eventually went to hospital. There, a rash swept over her body and she was put into a medically-induced coma as her organs began shutting down.

Tiny baby girl born just one week before the abortion limit is now thriving - despite doctors warning her parents she had a 1% chance of surviving and to 'let her go'

Baby girl born at 23 weeks thriving despite 1 percent chance of survival

Sadie Cratchley, 20, and her husband Marc, 27, from Somerset were warned their unborn daughter had one per cent chance of surviving when she went into labour at 23 weeks. The couple said doctors asked if they wanted them to try and save her, warning she was unlikely to survive. But Mr and Mrs Cratchley refused to give up on their unborn baby girl. Tiny Kaci-Rose Cratchley was born at 23 weeks and weighed just 1lb 2oz - half the weight of a bag of sugar. Despite the odds, she is now a healthy eight-month-old, weighing 8olbs - the same as the average newborn. Mrs Cratchley said: 'To other parents that are faced with decisions like this. As horrible as it is you must fight for your baby and let them have the chance. Kaci-Rose has proved that it can go well.'

Parents 'must stop checking phones in front of children' because technology obsession is affecting youngsters' mental health and school work 

Children are picking up technology obsession from their parents - and that is beginning to affect their mental health and school work, says London-based child health education specialist Dr Aric Sigman.

Nearly 200 children are treated for infection after a major outbreak of tuberculosis at a British school 

PIC: APEX 16/09/2015
View of Teign School in Kingsteignton, Devon, where nearly 200 people are undergoing treatment after a TB outbreak. 
Public Health England (PHE) said the majority of transmission at the school occurred in the 2013/14 school year.
Nearly 200 people have been followed up with a positive screening result and many are taking treatment for latent TB infection after the outbreak at the school.
PHE said they do not have TB disease and are not infectious, and the treatment will prevent the development of TB disease in the future.
PHE said the number of students testing positive is unusual but the pattern of spread is consistent with contact with an infectious person during the 2013/14 school year.
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Health bosses revealed the results of a major TB screening programme when all pupils were tested at Teign School near Newton Abbot after two caught the infectious disease.

Why a blast of exercise WON'T offset that extra glass of wine - in fact, experts say it could do more harm than good

Why a blast of exercise WON'T offset that extra glass of wine - in fact, experts say it

Lee Cuggy, 40, a beauty salon owner from Neath, is proud of her toned upper arms - but isn't about to give up her pinot grigio for them. She believes that exercise makes up for an extra glass of wine.

Health experts say debate over e-cigarettes is 'far from over' after report claimed products are 95% safer than tobacco 

Experts have raised doubts over an official report which proclaimed e-cigarettes to be 95 per cent safer than tobacco. Writing in the British Medical Journal, scientists called findings 'premature'.

Hospital scraps ice in patients' water jugs in bid to save almost £40,000 a year after it emerged it has a £1.2m a week deficit

Cash-strapped Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge has stopped putting ice in patients' water jugs, as part of spending cuts after it emerged the Trust has a deficit of £1.2million.

How doctors and nurses are 'walking on by' as patients are dying because they don't know how to ease their suffering 

Medical staff are inclined to 'ignore' the terminally ill and 'lose compassion' if they are too busy, MPs were warned. It follows a report earlier this year revealing many patients are dying in agony.

Is Body Mass Index a waste of time? NHS guidelines say anyone with a BMI of 27 is overweight, even if they don't look it

NHS guidelines say anyone with a BMI of 27 is overweight even if they don't look it

BMI is the most widely used method for assessing a person's weight - but is it becoming less effective? People can have a normal BMI yet still be at risk of disease - or be 'overweight' but not look it. These four people are deemed to be overweight by the NHS as they have a BMI of 27 or over. From left: Michaela Britton, 27, Olly Clark, 30, Mandy Harrow, 55, and Rachael Gallagher, 31.

Want to lose weight? Buy SMALLER plates! Simple step really CAN help you shed pounds by 'slashing 159 calories a day', landmark study reveals

A study by Cambridge University scientists and published in the influential Cochrane Library is the most conclusive evidence to date that people do eat more if they have bigger portions in front of them.

Prescription pills are Britain's third biggest killer: Side-effects of drugs taken for insomnia and anxiety kill thousands. Why do doctors hand them out like Smarties?

Professor Peter Gøtzsche reveals that psychiatric drugs are the third major killer after heart disease and cancer. With 80 million prescriptions for these drugs being written every year, the problem is huge.

Can going to the dentist give you Alzheimer's? The lethal brain disease could be transmitted by contaminated instruments

Dental inspection

New research says that damaging proteins which could cause Alzheimers could be transferred via instruments at the dentists. But that doesn't mean you should skip you regular teeth check up.

Playing outside for just 40 minutes a day 'protects a child's eyes, stopping them becoming short-sighted'

Spending an extra 40 minutes outside reduces the rate of short-sightedness in children by 23 per cent, researchers from Sun Yat-sen University, China, found.

'Your child eats what you eat': Shocking ads see babies suckling on breasts painted to look like unhealthy treats to warn mothers about the dangers of their bad food habits

Babies suckling on breasts painted to look like unhealthy treats to warn mothers

Created for Brazilian pediatric organization SPRS, the startling ads show infants suckling from breasts illustrated with unhealthy treats. The awareness campaign is meant to improve maternal health by showing mothers the harmful effects their poor diets can have on their young children.

Yoga CAN ease arthritis: Two classes a week 'relieves pain, boosts energy levels and makes walking easier'

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University said yoga is 'well-suited' to people suffering arthritis because it combines exercise with stress management and relaxation techniques.

Is your child's ADHD actually autism? Symptoms may 'mask the condition -delaying diagnosis by three years'

Harvard doctors said symptoms of autism, including repetitive behaviours could be mistaken for inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity and lead to an ADHD diagnosis.

How freshers' week should carry a health warning: Sorry mums and dads, booze binges are the least of your worries

Collapsed Drunk College Boy --- Image by © Image Source/Corbis

With lots of students heading off to university in the next few weeks, take a look at the most common illnesses that await. Students get ill from more than just the occasional hangovers.

Taking a daily vitamin D supplement 'can ward off dementia': Over 60s with deficiency found to experience quicker mental decline

Researchers have found people over the age of 60 with low levels of the essential vitamin experienced mental decline up to three times faster than those with adequate amounts.

How many people have YOU 'indirectly' had sex with? Take this test to find out! Tool reveals just nine lovers means you've been 'sexually exposed to FOUR MILLION'

LloydsPharmacy Online's tool reveals 9 lovers means you've been sexually exposed to 4M

Using the theory of six degrees of separation a new calculator reveals the number of direct and 'indirect' sexual partners a person has had, to highlight the importance of having regular STI tests.

Man told he had 'wind' after gallbladder surgery was actually bleeding internally - and had two pints of blood in his stomach

Burnley man told he had 'wind' after gallbladder surgery was actually bleeding internally

Marc Cunliffe, 36, from Blackburn, Lancashire, began suffering agonising stomach pains following an a gallbladder operation (pictured right). But when he went to Royal Blackburn Hospital's A&E; he was told it was 'wind' and he should go home and get eight hours sleep. After a two-hour nap he went back to the hospital, only to discover he had two pints of blood in his stomach. He was rushed for 'life-saving' emergency surgery to drain the fluid. He has now launched a complaint with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, fearing he could have died had he followed the hospital's advice (he is pictured, left). He said: 'The whole ordeal has left me having panic attacks and I am dreading going back to work - I've been in once and I had to be sent home in a car. It's really affected me.'

Would you use a DIY smear test? New kit allows women to take a cervical cancer test at home - as poll reveals 1 million have NEVER been tested fearing embarrassment and pain

A poll by GynaeHealth UK found 40 per cent of young women find it hard to get an appointment for a smear test, while 95 per cent of women over 50 said the procedure was painful.

An aspirin a day DOES help prevent heart attack, stroke and colon cancer - but it's most effective if you're in your 50s

A daily aspirin should be given to 50-year-olds at risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke in the next decade as long as they are not at risk of bleeding, the US Preventive Services Task Force said.

A poor diet is 'worse than smoking' for fatal illnesses: Unhealthy eating now accounts for nearly 11% of disease toll in England 

Experts at Public Health England described the research as a 'wake up call' to health service providers after experts found that poor diet was the leading cause of death and illness.

Huge increase in life expectancy: Britons now live average of 5.4 years longer than in 1990 - but only if they are wealthy 

A new study has found the life expectancy of wealthy Britons has increased by 5.4 years, but the health of those living in the poorest regions is still falling behind.

'Strangers said she looked pregnant': Two-year-old girl has a cancerous tumour the size of a soccer ball and weighing EIGHT KILOS in her swollen abdomen - and doctors says surgery is not an option

Rosannah Searle with tumour the size of a soccer ball and weighing 8 kilos

Rosannah Searle, two, from regional NSW, was diagnosed with stage three neuroblastoma at just three months old. The soccer ball sized tumour in her stomach (left) protruded and strangers would say she looked 'pregnant' and comment on her appetite. She has undergone eight rounds of chemotherapy and doctors say surgery isn't an option as it is too dangerous.

How an early human diet changed the course of evolution: Ancient ancestors who expanded their choice of food 3.76 million years ago helped the species to thrive

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore analysed the tooth enamel of 152 fossils of early humans, primates and other mammals from across Africa.

Salt swaps: Cutting back on salt doesn't mean you have to compromise on taste 

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Popcorn is high in fibre and a source of B vitamins, which help the body release energy from food, but some varieties can be salt traps.

What damage is sugar really doing to our SKIN? Experts digitally modify face of sweet-toothed woman, 22, to see how she'll fare in 10 years

FEMAIL were keen to find out exactly what kind of damage sugar could be having on our looks. We called on genetic imaging specialist, Auriole Prince, to edit an image of a sugar addict.

The supercomputer that can predict when you'll DIE: Boston researchers reveal supercomputer they say has 96% accuracy

The system collects data on patients every three minutes, measuring everything from oxygen levels to blood pressure to give doctors 'everything we need to know about a patient'.

Breastfeeding 'can help improve symptoms in children prone to autism', study finds

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig believe a chemical that is passed in breast milk helps children prone to autism read emotions in the faces of other people.

Some folk have all the luck! Tall people are genetically more likely to be slim

Researchers from the University of Queensland and British universities analysed DNA of people from 14 European countries to find those from 'tall' nations have DNA to keep them slim.

Computer simulation reveals how quickly infections spread through hospital wards- as study finds single rooms are safer

Researchers from Leeds University discovered hospital patients being cared for in single rooms have less chance of catching an infection than those in wards. By creating a new computer simulation of how infections spread, they calculated healthcare workers' hands are 20 per cent more likely to be contaminated in a four-bed ward, than in a single room. They hope the models will be used in future studies in order to help architects design hospitals that will reduce disease transmission, they said. They estimate that preventing the spread of infections, such as MRSA, could cut costs for the NHS.

Cream that 'rubs away' skin cancer: Tessa feared surgery would leave her face scarred. Then came an amazingly simple solution

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Tessa Cunningham thought she just had a spot - but it turned out to skin cancer. It was treated with a cream called Aldara that she applied twice a day for six months, meaning she could avoid scarring.

Scientists use YEAST to brew THC: Chemical usually found in cannabis could lead to better HIV and cancer drugs

SAFED, ISRAEL - MARCH 07: (ISRAEL OUT) A worker touches plants at a cannabis greenhouse at the growing facility of the Tikun Olam company on March 7, 2011 near the northern city of Safed, Israel. In conjunction with Israel's Health Ministry, Tikon Olam are currently distributing cannabis for medicinal purposes to over 1800 people in Israel. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

Researchers from Dortmund, Germany have discovered a way to genetically engineer yeast to produce both THC and cannabidiol. THC is the primary psychoactive chemical in cannabis.

Tiny gel balls that could ease the pain of arthritis: A treatment that blocks abnormal blood vessels dramatically reduces pain

A spikey purple stress koosh ball ready to be squeezed.; Shutterstock ID 88131697

Bombarding blood vessels with tiny gel balls could help ease painful arthritic joints. Abnormal blood vessels can form around injured joints. Blocking the abnormal vessels reduces pain dramatically.

Do I really need...underwear to stop thighs chafing? 

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Chaffree underwear promises to keep the wearer dry and helps to prevent infection. But is it worth it? Expert Dr Justine Hextall gives her opinion.

Cancer survivor, 38, who posed for a photo shoot after her double mastectomy is branded 'SELFISH for being too positive'

Cancer survivor who posed for a photoshoot after double mastectomy branded SELFISH

Emma Kirke, 38, of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, was diagnosed with cancer in her right breast in September 2014 and was determined not to 'become a victim'. After undergoing a double mastectomy in February 2015, Mrs Kirke decided to pose for a photo shoot, as a way of helping herself and other post-mastectomy patients feel good about themselves (she is pictured in the shoot, right, centre and left). In the photographs she had only had one of the four procedures she would need to reconstruct her breasts. While staying strong and keeping positive helped her to cope with her treatment, some of her friends branded her selfish for not allowing herself - or others - to grieve. Mrs Kirke, of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, said: 'I didn't want to become a victim, or feel sorry for myself. A friend said I was being selfish at some points, because I wasn't allowing people to be upset. She found it difficult to be around me. But being negative wasn't going to help me get through it.'

How sprinkling chilli on your food could help fight cancer: Compound that adds heat 'lodges to the surface of diseased cells and tears them apart'

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology hope finding out how capsaicin kills prostate cancer cells will help pave the way for new drugs to treat the disease in future.

Eat like the Greeks to prevent breast cancer: Mediterranean diet with lashings of olive oil 'slashes risk of the disease by 68%'

While a Mediterranean diet with plenty of olive oil was found to significantly reduce the risk of the disease, the same effect was not seen with nuts, University of Navarra researchers found.

'My vice is that I'm a salt snob - I like gourmet, hand raked salt': Singer Belinda Carlisle under the microscope

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Singer Belinda Carlisle, 57, answers our health quiz. She hates the taste of fruit, has had the same operation on her hips as Lady Gaga and is a self-pronounced 'salt snob', preferring hand raked salt.

How to get the most from your pharmacist: Over the counter 

CN2TTE Piggy Bank Filled With Pills

If you're already getting free NHS prescriptions - for instance, if you're over 60 or under 16 - some pharmacists are able to give you free over-the-counter medication, too.

Man with 'bionic penis' reveals he had an erection for TWO weeks after surgery - but says his new manhood has 'changed his life'

Mohammed Abad with a 'bionic penis' had an erection for TWO weeks after surgery

Mohammed Abad, 43, from Edinburgh (pictured right), lost his penis and testicle in a freak car accident when he was six. He ran into the road and was dragged for 600 yards by a car. Last month, he was fitted with a bionic penis, which contains two tubes which fill up using liquid from his stomach, allowing him to maintain an erection. It has a button in his testicles which he can press to pump it up, as well as another button which drains the penis after use, so it deflates (the pump is pictured, bottom right). Today, he gave a candid interview on ITV's This Morning, in which he that having the prosthetic penis has made a 'huge' psychological impact. He said it had 'totally changed' his life.
He also admitted he had an erection for two weeks following the surgery.

Couple have their entire wedding paid for by STRANGERS after groom is diagnosed with terminal cancer

Manchester wedding paid for by STRANGERS after groom is diagnosed with terminal cancer

Laura and Steven Monks, both 35 and from Hyde, Greater Manchester, left on their big day, tied the knot in a hotel ceremony - all paid for by the kindness of strangers. The couple, who were friends for ten years before they got together, put their wedding plans on hold and started saving up to buy a house, but last October the pair were left dumbfounded when Steven, pictured, bottom right, with his groomsmen, was diagnosed with stage three bowel and liver cancer. The kitchen fitter had an operation to remove his bowel and started chemotherapy straightaway, but in April this year doctors told the couple that Steven's condition is terminal.

Why Diet Coke is BAD for you: Opting for low-calorie drinks means you're more likely to 'compensate and gorge on junk food'

People who drink diet drinks are likely to feel justified in eating more because their drink had fewer calories, or the low-calorie drink may leave them unsatisfied, University of Illinois researchers found.

Cannabis smokers are far more likely to develop early stages of diabetes, research finds 

Scientists at the University of Minnesota found that people who have smoked marijuana more than 100 times in their life had an almost 50 per cent greater chance of developing prediabetes.

Is a lack of sleep making you gain weight? Infographic reveals what happens to your body when you don't get enough shut-eye - from bloating to heart problems 

Nearly 30 per cent of American adults don't get enough sleep - but a new infographic breaks down all the ways that snoozing for less than six hours can negatively impact your looks and health.

Could FISH be nature's antidepressant? Diet rich in seafood 'slashes risk of depression'

Experts from the Medical College of Qingdao University, China, said the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish might modify the activity of certain chemical messengers associated with depression.

The woman whose face was DEVOURED by cancer: Mother, 27, undergoes 39-hour surgery to remove 2kg tumour and rebuild the hole left in her face

South African woman whose face was DEVOURED by cancer

Tambu Makinzi, 27, from South Africa, was diagnosed with the rare bone cancer chondrosarcoma four years ago. It devoured her nasal and upper jaw bone, leaving her months from death. But after travelling 6,000 miles to London, leaving her husband and daughter behind, Tambu was treated by Professor Iain Hutchison at Barts Hospital in London. After 39 hours in surgery a team of six specialists removed the tumour and using tissue from Tambu's ribs and back rebuilt her face. Speaking after her surgery, the mother-of-one said: 'It's a long process, I'm not 100 per cent but I am getting there. 'If it wasn't for Pearl, I don't think I would have fought as hard as I have. I told myself I have to do this for my daughter.'


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