There are always a bunch of aunties around us who are rather concerned about the length of our skirt, about that boy we were laughing too much with, and about how we need to take our izzat to our married homes. Now, imagine the same aunty being your gynaecologist. Nightmare come true, isn't it?
Sadly, that is a reality we live in. Every woman can safely say that she dreads a visit to the gynaecologist. Indian girls are never really taught how to talk about their reproductive health. Questions about menstrual health, sex and safety are brushed under the carpet in every home that has a female.
The same mental block manifests itself when we're visiting a ladies' doctor who might just ask us to take our pants off for a look. You wait nervously, you fumble while explaining your problems and there are a million questions running through your head.
The whole experience can become better only and only if the doctor can manage to make you feel comfortable in your own skin.
However, most girls will tell you that visiting a gynaecologist in India is an equivalent to taking a trip to hell, with more of moral policing and less of medical advice.
Some of them ask you to come with your mother even if you're well into your 20s, some shame you for having sex before marriage, and the most dangerous ones are those who don't even look you in the eye while you're trying to explain your plumbing issues. This means an average Indian woman is more scared of her doctor than she is of her medical problems. But the thing is that when you're visiting a doctor, you want clarity regarding your issues rather than being robbed off your dignity.
And that is exactly why, this initiative by Amba, along with her friends Pavithra, Manish and Richa, is going to benefit all those women who need medical assistance without any judgement. The initiative, as the team put it, is :
This is an attempt to crowdsource a directory of trustworthy gynaecologists. Finding doctors who are on our side is hard enough, and when it comes to something as intimate as our internal plumbing, it's even more difficult.
We need gynaes who are well-trained, affordable, reassuring, and above all, respectful of any sexual or lifestyle choices we make. We need doctors who know that not all people want their uterus, and that not all people with uteri are women. We need medical expertise devoid of moral judgements regarding how we use our bodies. And we need compassionate care that we can rely on when we are scared, in pain and in sickness, without any shaming for being promiscuous, queer, single, trans, abused, kinky, disabled, fat, childless, or any other aspect of our social identity that should have no relevance to the quality of medical care we deserve.
All you have to do is fill out their survey and add to the list. The aim is to have a list of non-judgmental gynaecologists all across India. Go ahead and add your positive experience so that other women know where they can go.
A lot of women are going to be referring to this directory and you would be helping out your fellow ladies.
Here is the link to their survey. Search for a doctor if you need one and add good experiences, if any: