Saturday 24 August 2019

Sinead Ryan: 'Menopause or manopause, what's worse?'

The pioneering surgery, which has already been performed on a few women, freezes ovarian tissue to be reimplanted before the hot flushes and night sweats take over. Stock photo
The pioneering surgery, which has already been performed on a few women, freezes ovarian tissue to be reimplanted before the hot flushes and night sweats take over. Stock photo
Sinead Ryan

Sinead Ryan

So, scientists have found a way to delay the menopause.

The pioneering surgery, which has already been performed on a few women, freezes ovarian tissue to be reimplanted before the hot flushes and night sweats take over.

For some women, of course, that would be a godsend.

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No more swerving emotions, sodden sheets at three in morning or body temperatures sufficient to heat a three-bed semi.

Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of medical intervention for the sake of it; in the absence of an actual, diagnosed illness perhaps leaving well enough alone is best.

The surgery, pioneered by (male) doctors in the United Kingdom, only delays the witching hour by a couple of decades.

While that sounds mightily attractive, especially for those of us in the throes of a bracing array of bewildering symptoms, I'd venture that old age is already challenging enough and illness-ridden without adding new menopausal symptoms into what may be complex medical needs in your seventies.

It's probably best to get the whole thing over with in a few early years - preferably when your moods can compete with any teenagers you might still have.

Now if scientists could only delay the manopause - when middle aged blokes discover lycra and a penchant for red sports cars - well that would be worth something.

If biscuits are bad, you're asking the wrong people

We're all worried about our borders after Brexit. There are alarmist threats of food shortages, supermarket shelves running dry and lorries being held up at ports until perishables perish. We are told frozen ready-meals, pizzas and confectionery may be the first to go, while anything with flour or sugar will be far more expensive once tariffs hit.

One person at least will be pretty happy if so. It's England's former chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies, who claims "women are eating two biscuits too much each day", which is inflaming the obesity crisis and causing cancer.

Professor Dame Sally, who may have two titles too much, may possibly be eating the wrong biscuits.

"Diseases do not recognise borders," she added in a departing interview on 'Desert Island Discs', a shock to those of us who thought the flu might be held for examination in Dover.

"Obesity will overtake smoking as the leading cause of cancer in women by 2043," she warns. "We have to be honest about it and not pretend people aren't overweight or obese." She's right, of course, but many will still take umbrage at her remarks.

The 'Daily Mail' naturally took the opportunity to accompany the story with a full analysis and photographs of nice biscuits with their calorie, fat and sugar count attached.

McVitie's HobNobs came out the worst, but I'm assuming they didn't use any menopausal women as their tasters, in which case they would have won, hands down.

Our grans were into green revolution first

While 50-something women regularly fling off their clothes to cope with the hot flushes, an EU report into the fashion industry tells us that the cost to the environment on "disposable clothing" is dire.

In 2000, fashion houses produced on average, two collections a year.

Today, it's five with the likes of Zara rolling over stock every few weeks.

Whatever the cost in euro of us needing to buy yet another LBD or white tee-shirt, perhaps it's time to really embrace the three Rs: reuse, recycle and repair - just like Gran did.

Irish Independent

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