In the face of a medical crisis depriving thousands of women their HRT, Rachel Maclean, Tory MP for Redditch County in Worcestershire, describes it as an “opportunity” for women to review their treatment.
What a ridiculous view, one that surely ranks alongside that of the former Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey, saying the UK Government’s “rape clause” was “an opportunity (for rape victims) to talk”.
Sorry, what is wrong with these Tory sisters?
The country is running out of a vital medicine that restores a sense of normality to menopausal women at the end of their tether. That is not an opportunity, it is a massive dereliction of their political duty.
Ms Maclean lists the menopause as an issue she wants to get on the political agenda.
How crass then to not think that, by the time women have decided to balance the risks and take HRT, they have already exhausted every other alternative.
And with the country’s temperature literally soaring, the menopause is dismissed as just another thing that women should grit their teeth and get on with. Like childbirth, or menstruation.
Women spend their lives restricted by their biology: monthly periods that are a regular, painful reminder that despite the years of campaigning for equality, some things just don’t change.
It’s hackneyed truism that if men had to go through this, there would either be a cure by now or we’d be extinct.
But still we feel guilty when we “give in” to relying on medicine or even surgery to make life more comfortable. And now this.
The Department for Health and Social Care has admitted awareness of ongoing supply issues since last December and its advice thus far to a looming crisis has been a mealy-mouthed suggestion to discuss alternatives with your GP.
From menopause magnets in your pants to black cohosh, ginseng and evening primrose oil, women are inundated with advice about what to do. And why not, like they haven’t tried everything else before they turn to HRT.
HRT has transformed my life. From previously waking up every morning feeling like I had been hit by a 10-tonne truck, my twice-weekly patches have restored some sense of normality, and I am not about to give up on that now.
In the same month that Scots discover our life expectancy is falling, a drug that can help women live longer by decreasing their risk of heart disease goes into critically short supply and we are asked to consider just how much worse it could be.
More than 60% of women will suffer the ill-effects of the natural process of ageing – “the change” – but that doesn’t mean they should take it like a man because, frankly, he wouldn’t.
Women put up with too much and then feel guilty for what is seen as “giving in” but there are no medals for stoicism, and we shouldn’t have to put up with anything that can easily be relieved. That’s what medical advances are about.
The member for Worcestershire, Ms Maclean, describes herself on social media as “rather surprised” to find herself as an MP.
On that, I suspect thousands of hormonally deprived women would concur.