I come across so many sad articles about prudish gynaecologists and doctors, who consider sex as a taboo that I feel some sort of balance will be restored if I shared the tale of my experience from not so long ago.
A few months back, I ended up in a hospital. While there are many aspects of it that made me aware of just how sad and unfair our healthcare system is for those who don’t have the means to afford even basic procedures, something happened that gave me hope.
I was supposed to get a CT scan. This was the second time, but a first where I wasn’t insanely drugged and so, could have a proper conversation.
A young doctor, a radiologist I guess, asked me about my last period. Though I was properly conscious, I was too overwhelmed to give her exact dates. The machines, the whirring sound and the warning labels were scary! She said she wanted to know if there were any chance that I could be pregnant.
She asked about pregnancy directly. I said no as bluntly as I could, or so I remember. The junior reported my dubiety to her senior. What came next seemed hilarious at that moment but makes me wonder a lot, till date.
The senior doctor asked me if I was married. I said no. She reiterated how they need to be sure about pregnancy. Though both asked me the same things, the connotation and underlined meanings were very different.
I hope for a day when doctors would explicitly be able to ask women what they seek — Could you be pregnant? Are you sexually active? Instead of asking about their marital status. And, that women would be able to answer freely and truly, without any fear of judgement.
That junior doctor was a step in the right direction and I hope she stays away from the ways of her senior. Not that the senior was entirely wrong for I understand where her concerns stem from, but following her would be real stagnation. Progress can only happen when juniors are allowed to flourish their way, the new way.
She is a ray of hope I found in the CT scan room that day and I will always be grateful for her existence.