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In the US, menopause finally gets its due

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In the US, menopause finally gets its due

For years, the sweeping physical and emotional midlife change that women undergo has been shunted to the shadowy corners of public view, and barely even discussed among friends.

In the United States, menopause is moving off the back burner, in part thanks to Hollywood A-listers who say it’s high time to end the taboo surrounding a biological process that affects half the world’s population.

Of course, some of those same celebrities have sought to cash in on an as yet untapped gold mine by offering a range of new products aimed at middle-aged women seeking relief.

Naomi Watts, Gwyneth Paltrow and Oprah Winfrey have all recently gone on the record about the symptoms they have experienced. Michelle Obama tackled menopause on her podcast in 2020.

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“Over the course of my career as an actor, I’ve outrun tsunamis and come face-to-face with ‘King Kong.’ But nothing prepared me for early menopause,” writes the 54-year-old Watts, explaining that she began noticing physiological changes at age 36.

Winfrey, the 69-year-old talk show queen, said her heart palpitations in her late 40s were so severe that she thought she was “going to die every single night.”

“I went to five different doctors — nobody ever once suggested that it could be menopause,” Winfrey says, calling for more public discourse to warn women about what is to come, and also to make doctors more aware of the need for better care.

Some doctors appear to be woefully unversed on the topic, or simply embrace the old-fashioned notion that it’s a phase to be dealt with and nothing more.

Better patient care?

Menopause, which marks the one-year point after a woman’s final menstrual period, is actually the end point of a much longer cycle.

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Perimenopause is the final phase of a woman’s reproductive cycle and is the time when many of the most troublesome symptoms are noticed — from night sweats and hot flashes to insomnia, hair loss, anxiety, heavy bleeding and low sex drive.

For some women, this phase can last for up to a decade — hence the need for better awareness, care and consideration.

Studies suggest a vast majority of women will experience at least one menopausal symptom in their lifetime.

Wen Shen, an associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the co-director of its Women’s Wellness and Healthy Aging Program, says 20 percent of women with symptoms have “really horrible, severe” issues.

Those experiences during perimenopause can “basically ruin their lives, ruin their ability to focus at work, to concentrate, ruin their relationships,” Shen said.

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She is in favor of the movement by showbiz power players to destigmatize the condition especially as, in her view, “unfortunately, many doctors are not well versed.”

“Traditionally it has been such a taboo. And women were afraid to admit they were in menopause, because it’s sometimes shameful. And it was associated with aging,” Shen said.

“So I think having glamorous movie stars bringing it out and being honest about it is a good thing.”

In 2012, Shen’s team did a survey of all OB GYN residents in the United States and found that the majority of graduating residents “did not feel comfortable dealing with menopause.”

Some respondents had one lecture about the condition, as opposed to months of training about infertility and gynecological cancers.

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Shen says textbooks have been improved in the last decade, but still says there is “not enough emphasis” on teaching the next generation of doctors about an essential phase of a woman’s life.

‘Menopause solutions’
Alongside the need for better medical treatment, investment firms are pouring oodles of cash into products aimed at middle aged women in the various phases of menopause.

In October, Watts launched Stripes, which offers “menopause solutions from scalp to vag.” On offer are lubricants for vaginal dryness, densifying hair masks and probiotic supplements.

For years, Oscar winner Paltrow has sold “Madame Ovary” — a supplement cocktail of herbs, vitamins and phytonutrients to “help smooth the menopausal transition.” A month’s supply goes for $90 on her Goop website.

And retired tennis superstar Serena Williams, 41, recently invested in vegan menopause supplement brand Wile, saying it was “changing the game for women over 40.”

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One of the standard treatments for menopause is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which replaces the estrogen that a woman’s body stops making as she ages, addressing key symptoms such as hot flashes and protecting against osteoporosis.

Once prescribed regularly, the treatment all but dropped off the map in the United States 20 years ago — the result of a flawed scientific study that sparked panic by suggesting high health risks to women.

Shen says better research over the past two decades and assessment of the risks has markedly improved understanding of HRT, leading to its increased use, but she worries about companies offering the drugs over the phone.

“Some of them do advise other forms of treatments that are not evidence-based, have not been researched adequately, that may actually be harmful,” she warns.

Shen suggests that women experiencing serious symptoms ask their doctor to be sent to someone specializing in menopause care, who would be able to prescribe the proper treatment, including HRT.

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Reham Khan deflects criticism over marrying younger guy

Reham Khan deflects criticism over marrying younger guy

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Reham Khan deflects criticism over marrying younger guy

Appearing in Hafiz Ahmed’s podcast, Reham Khan addressed criticism on her marriage with a younger boy.

Talking about it, she said, “When people see me, they say, ‘Oh, she married a younger guy,’ but they don’t know that I was first married to a man who was 16 years older than me.

Then, I married a man who was 22 years older than me. So, why don’t they criticise men for marrying younger women?

And as a woman, if I am a divorcée, it becomes a tag, but men, despite getting multiple divorces and engaging in multiple marriages, are never labeled”.

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Talking about whether she allows her husband for a second marriage, she said, “I am not in favour of men having multiple marriages simultaneously.

If my husband wants to marry again, he will have to leave me. I agreed to marry him after seeing the divorce papers.”

Reham Khan is a brilliant host, writer and a social media influencer who began her career from international media as a weather reporter.

She, later on, shifted to Pakistan where she became a prominent Pakistani news anchor.

Reham Khan became a known figure after her marriage to former PTI founder.

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The marriage didn’t last longer. It was Reham Khan’s second marriage.

In December 2022, Reham Khan tied the knot with Mirza Bilal.

Reham Khan is currently spending time in Pakistan with her husband.

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Saheefa Jabbar speaks out against tossing money at weddings

Saheefa Jabbar speaks out against tossing money at weddings

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Saheefa Jabbar speaks out against tossing money at weddings

Model Saheefa Jabbar Khattak has shared her stance on some degrading customs prevalent at wedding parties.

Known for her proactive engagement, she criticised certain customs that perpetuate demeaning portrayals.

She said this in the context of weddings where people as a tradition toss a deck of money in the air.

This act symbolises wealth, and it is intended to be donated to the less fortunate.

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However, Saheefa Jabbar strongly disapproves of this tradition. She stated: “It is the happiest day of your life and your family.

“I understand that I wish nothing but lifelong happiness and a great future ahead.
With this, I would like to add that it doesn’t have to include less privileged individuals picking up money from the ground and bending in front of you.”

According to her, the spectacle of individuals scrambling to grab the money perpetuates an undignified and degrading portrayal of those in need.

She continued: “When you have millions of followers on various platforms, it’s important to conduct yourself with responsibility.

“Putting an end to such customs and traditions is something we people with influence should focus on and the responsibility lies with you.”

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She has raised her concerns over such matters in the past as well and viewers highly respect her for her sensitivity.

One person said: “This is why I love Saheefa. She always talks about important things that no one even pays much attention to.”

Another wrote: “They did this at my wedding too.
“I feel so guilty as I remember little children, barefoot, trying to get the money before anyone else does.”

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London Fashion Week show at British Museum irks Greece

London Fashion Week show at British Museum irks Greece

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London Fashion Week show at British Museum irks Greece

The Greek Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, expressed her anger late on Saturday after a London Fashion week show took place in front of the Parthenon Marbles at the British Museum.

Designer Erdem Moralioglu chose the impressive setting of the Athens Parthenon sculptures showroom at the British Museum to present the autumn winter 2024 collection of his eponymous brand Erdem, inspired by Greek singer Maria Callas and her interpretation of the opera Medea in 1953.

“By organising a fashion show in the halls where the Parthenon Sculptures are exhibited, the British Museum, once again, proves its zero respect for the masterpieces of Pheidias,” Mendoni said in a statement.

“The directors of the British Museum trivialize and insult not only the monument but also the universal values that it transmits. The conditions of display and storage of the sculptures, at the Duveen Gallery, are constantly deteriorating. It is time for the stolen and abused sculptural masterpieces to shine in the Attic light,” she added.

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The sculptures were taken from the Parthenon temple at the Acropolis in Greece in the early 19th century by British diplomat Thomas Bruce, the earl of Elgin.

Athens maintains the marbles, which are a major draw for visitors at London’s British Museum, were stolen, while the UK claims they were obtained legally.

The 1963 British Museum Act prohibits the removal of objects from the institution’s collection.

But officials at the museum, which is under pressure to repatriate other foreign antiquities, have not ruled out a possible loan deal.

Late November, a diplomatic spat raised eyebrows when Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his “displeasure” over UK counterpart Rishi Sunak’s last minute cancellation of a bilateral meeting set to discuss their long-running dispute over the Parthenon Marbles.

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At issue for London was the Greek leader’s comments in a BBC interview a day before the meeting about ownership of the 2,500-year-old marbles.

Sunak was allegedly angry about Mitsotakis’s comments that having some of the marbles in London and others in Athens was like cutting the Mona Lisa in half. 

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