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Prejudices within the medical fraternity: Women and sexuality in India

My visit to a lady gynecologist in India a few months back has been bothering me to no end. Hence by ranting about the experience here I would like to know your thoughts on it and share if you have had a similar experience as I did. As a young woman in her early twenties, a check up with the gynecologist would be so embarrassing to the point of invoking a sense of outrage was not what I had perceived. I learnt after the visit that the situation gets especially tricky and complex if you are a young assertive, vocal and ‘sexually active’ female.

That day I set out with my best ‘male’ friend to visit a gynecologist clinic to seek medical help for my prolonged menstrual cramps which didn’t cure with previous medications I had been self-administering. I say ‘male’ best friend because my boyfriend was unavailable that day to accompany me to the clinic hence I tagged this close buddy along. The clinic was in a shabby building in the suburbs of Bombay, as we entered the corridor, a board indicating Dr Sunita Pinto, gynaecologist- 2nd floor was hung on the corridor wall. Having climbed the second floor, we saw a long corridor where patients were seated, mostly young pregnant women with their husbands. I have deliberately made this presumption because apparently there can be no other explanation for visiting a gynaecologist as I learnt later.