Reality of womb without a view

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It popped up in the X Factor commercial break.

Aimed at lusty twenty-somethings starting families, one hopes; not the show’s loyal legion of teenage girls... An advert for Clearblue pregnancy tests, which have grown so advanced, they can tell you, to the day, how far gone you are.

Amaaaazing, I thought, all Brian Cox-like. The wonders of modern science.

Though I bet you still have to pee on a stick.

Then a little thought ran through me. I wondered if I should buy one. Just to check, seeing as I haven’t had a period for... Oh, since... Well, for years, now I really come to think about it.

Which means I’m now either officially barren or as pregnant as an elephant.

I was only in my 40s – young by national averages – when they ground to a halt and I have grown accustomed to their absence. But every so often, it un-nerves me. Illogically, I start to worry how on earth I’d know if I was up the duff at 50.

You read about it, don’t you? Middle-aged women suddenly discovering that it wasn’t indigestion; that there was no wonder the Rennies didn’t work.

I’ve scoffed at those stories of supposedly shell-shocked new-old mothers, babes in bingo-winged arms, telling reporters it was all a total surprise; that they felt an urge to go to the loo and were gob-smacked when all of a sudden they went into labour and popped out a kiddie on the cotton-twist bath-mat.

But then I got to thinking about it; when the painters no longer call, you’re getting fatter by the month and you’re up twice a night to go to the loo, what actually would alert you to the fact that you were pregnant? Not every woman gets a craving for pickled onions and coal, do they?

I shan’t go and buy one, though; I’d feel like some old desperado at the counter. I’d have to lie and say it was for the daughter I don’t have – and am now never likely to have.

Periods; a mixed curse when I had them, and now I’m not.

Even though their imminent arrival brought pain and inconvenience, there was also the reassurance that the little monthly clock inside you was still ticking away.

When the clock starts to miss a beat, you realise the menopause is looming, but you quite like the little holidays.

Then it finally gives up the ghost and there’s initial relief – no more migraines, stomach cramps and, joy of joys, no more Lillets and things with wings to have to battle round Boots for in your lunch-hour.

But then the finality gets to you. Jo Davison, 44 and 3/4: The Reproductive Years, done and dusted.

I no longer have a womb with a view to anything. It has battened down the hatches and right this minute is probably deciding to grow fibroids instead.

Bloke says it’s great, being married to a non-menstruating woman, though. And not for the reasons you’d think, readers.

“Well you don’t get PMT do you,” he pointed out.

“You’re easier to live with. You’re tetchy, irritable and erratic all the time, rather than just for a few days each month, which means I can deal with you in the same way every single day.” Nice, eh?