Would you like to tell us what you do and what was your training?

I graduated in medicine and specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology. I have worked in counselling for more than forty years and for twenty-five years I worked in the CUS, for sexual violence relief. I do meetings with students in various schools. I’m the contact person for AGITE in Lombardy, which is the society of territorial gynaecologists that is part of SIGO, which is the Italian society of obstetrics and gynaecology.

Menopause and post-menopause, what are the patients’ narratives?

In general, women at that time of life can be divided into two macro groups: those who accept it and those who do not. Approaching patients who refuse to disregard their biological clock is not easy. I try, from the interview, to make it emerge that change, in whatever form it manifests itself, is essential and inevitable. It cannot be resisted and eventually our body will always carry out the natural process for which it is ‘programmed’.

How, in your opinion, can narrative medicine support the relationship between gynaecologist and woman?

The gynaecological visit is essentially a conversation. Space must be left for the patient to express their feelings, their doubts and their story. The doctor, through their narratives, grasps fundamental elements for the diagnosis.

The ‘unspoken’ is also essential; the doctor’s attention in the encounter with the patient during the examination must also focus on that. Patients are able to re-elaborate the problem or, more generally, the fact by telling themselves, and in doing so the part, still present in them, that opposes the beginning of a healing process stops fighting and co-operates with the other parts.

Would you like to add something? For example on fertility or pregnancy

These are both topics one could talk about for hours. Women are of childbearing age until they are forty to fifty, but there are various phases in this period and not all are equal in terms of fertility. For example, at eighteen one is very fertile, at thirty the potential percentage decreases by 30% and at forty the chance is only 20%. The fundamental element, to be borne in mind in any case, is awareness. It sometimes happens that a young girl does not realise that already at fifteen/sixteen, without precautions, she can become pregnant. Or a patient in her forties who has not come to terms with the passage of time does not realise that it is no longer as easy as before to have a child at that age. Understanding, and making a woman understand, the advantages and disadvantages of each period of a woman’s life is crucial. Without this realisation, it is not possible to continue a conversation, and later, a peaceful path.

Slightly provocative question: some call it surrogacy, others surrogacy and others solidarity motherhood… what do you think?

These three terms identify three different models of relationships between applicants and lenders.
The term ‘womb for rent’ emphasises a relationship that is necessarily and exclusively centred on compensation and the exchange of money. The woman who lends her womb, for the family or the requesting woman, has no purpose other than to benefit financially and the monetary compensation becomes a shield for emotional or other repercussions.
In opposition to this, there is ‘surrogacy’ which instead rests on the idea of gift and help. It identifies lending as an act of solidarity that a woman performs towards another woman and emphasises the humanity of the gesture.
While ‘surrogacy’ is a middle ground, it is neutral. It acquires no particular nuance and does not take into account the ideas, beliefs or aims of the agents.
Although this first diversification seems to highlight a qualitative distinction on a moral level, I would actually like to emphasise that for me one term is no better or worse than another. The key thing is to distinguish between them and learn how to use them appropriately and appropriately, because they are three completely different definitions and should be used as such.

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