July 31st, 2009

Development Effects of Removing Gonads from a Female Infant

Okay, this comm is awesome, and here is one thing I always wished I could find an answer to way back when, but was never able to.

Searches tried: besides Wiki and a couple 70s-era medical textbooks (hey, I was thirteen, I wasn't Net-savvy), I've since Googled "TAH-BSO + puberty," "TAH-BSO + children," "total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy", "total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy + children," "TAH-BSO + prepubescent," "ovariohysterectomy complications," "ovariohysterectomy children," "ovariohysterectomy," and "female castration." Then I just said, "oh, screw it."

I had a female character who would've had uterus, tubes, and ovaries removed at a young age, and not for a reason of health.  She was given good medical care for it, generally didn't have any problems recovering.  In that setting, it would've been considered a significant procedure, but not a particularly risky one, health-wise.

Not long after, still at a young age but completely recovered from the procedure, she is dumped into the present day setting.  Her medical history is lost, and being a child, she doesn't think to say anything about it, and so there is no follow-up in the way of hormone replacement, etc.

My question is what effects this would have on the physical growth and development of this kid.  At the time of the story, she is in the fourteen-fifteen age range.  Obviously she isn't going to be hitting puberty, but are there any other noticeable effects?  Growth-wise, voice-wise, health-wise?  For what it's worth, she is otherwise healthy.

How to travel to Zimbabwe from the UK

Setting: Modern day, real world(ish)
Search terms tried: variants on 'travel times from UK to Zimbabwe'

I have a character who is travelling from London (airport irrelevant as I probably won't mention it) to Zimbabwe (arrival airport may be relevant... as I may want to know what it is like there). The search above gave me a lot of sites with complaints about Zimbabwe airways and how terrible they are and one mention of an alternative route using SAA 9I presume South Africa Airways) and presumably travelling overland from South Africa to Zimbabwe? Oh, and there was a site which claimed to know all about train times in Zimbabwe (which is potentially useful later in the story but for now irrelevent...)

So, what I want to know is: What is the most likely method my character would use to get to Zimbabwe from the UK, given that he is there on subversive government business and there is currently advice from the UK foreign office not to travel there? How long would this take? If anyone knows what the airport he is likely to land at looks like, this would be a bonus...