Singer Louise Redknapp talks exclusively to the NHS about her fears that a fertility-threatening disease could threaten her plans for a family in a consumer-style magazine published today. Louise was diagnosed with endometriosis, a disease in which small pieces of the womb lining grow outside the womb, causing chronic pain and, in many cases, depression and fertility problems.
Luckily, Louise's condition was diagnosed at an early stage and she responded well to treatment. She is now pregnant with her first child.
In the same magazine, Ronan Keating warns that men should regularly get checked for possible signs of testicular cancer. The singer had a health scare last year when he found a lump in his testicles while on holiday.
Their stories are featured in Your Life magazine, produced by the NHS and Dr Foster, the independent healthcare information provider. As well as celebrity interviews, the magazine features top tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle this summer and eight pages of specially tailored information about local NHS services. It will be available, free of charge, through a range of local organisations including high street retailers, newsagents, hairdressers, and nail salons. The magazine follows growing concern that many young women and their families simply ignore or throw away traditional NHS leaflets.
Gita Mendis, of Dr Foster and editor of Your Life! said: "Because we all love reading about celebrities, we've used both celebrity stories and real people's stories in Your Life! to inspire our readers and help them think carefully about their lifestyles and understand the negative impact things like drinking, smoking, and diet have on their health.
We have worked closely with local Primary Care Trusts to promote existing local NHS services and initiatives there to support the community, for example, smoking cessation groups, alcohol and drugs services and sexual health clinics.
One thing we are determined not to do is preach, instead by using some great celebrity and real people's stories, we are arming our readers with the information they need to understand how their behaviour can affect their health."
Your Life reader Jackie Carlyon from Norfolk was inspired by the winter edition of the magazine to give up smoking. She said: "I was a smoker on 20 to 25 cigarettes a day, but I gave up in January and I'm still off them! It's down to willpower ? and my 4-year-old daughter Luchia making comments about my smoking, which scared me. It's been hard and there have been temptations, but reading the celebrity stories in the winter issue really helped me as I realised you've got to live for your children as well as for yourself."
Carrie Grant, Fame Academy's vocal coach, said: "Your Life! is a great magazine - it really does encourage and educate women to look after their health. There's so much that women can do to change the way they feel It's also good the way the magazine draws attention to the services that the NHS provide."