Things People Tell Me About Sex: Diary Of A Gynaecologist

 Ramnath Bhuyan is a 33-year-old gynaecologist in a small town 50 kilometers away from Guwahati. He has been working at a maternity hospital there for three years now — he returned home after stints in cities like Delhi and Bombay (where people hardly visit male gynaecologists, he says), and a mostly rural set up in Sholapur.

The difficulty in Sholapur had been that all his patients wanted to get their uterus removed for the smallest of problems. When he came back home to work in his small town, he faced a set of new challenges — he began to deal largely with infertility cases, which meant he needed to ask his patients about sex.

He tells us about what he has learned about intimate life from his work.

A woman once came to me and said she liked being on top while having sex with her husband. But she was worried. Would being on top make it harder for her to get pregnant? She wasnt sure if the semen was going inside her or not you know, because it seemed like more was coming outside than going in. Youd be surprised at how common a question that is; this business of it all coming out. But actually everything that needs to go inside already has.

Working as a gynaecologist in a town about 50 kilometers from Guwahati, is very different from working in the city. Ive been here, working in my fathers hospital for three years now. I did my medicine in Manipal, then came home to Guwahati and was at the Guwahati Medical College for a year, before moving to Delhi and Mumbai. So Ive worked in cities a lot, except for a stretch in the middle in Sholapur at a mostly rural set-up.

In cities, women didnt ask me about the technicalities of sex. A pregnant woman, or a young woman who has a problem with her period isnt going to tell you about her sex life. Perhaps, theyve done their homework on that front, because they have easy access to that kind of information. Instead, they asked about specific problems like infections, STDs, or contraception, sometimes even about putting on weight because of contraceptives.

In our Maternity Hospital, I treat a very broad category of people, mostly between the ages of 18 and 24. And after coming here, I have been dealing quite a bit with infertility cases. I find myself asking rather specific questions about my patientssex lives; personal questions that arent usually asked.

The kind that never happened to me in the city? Nobody came to me worried they havent had children yet, only for us to find on repeated questioning that the couple had not had sex at all.

In our town most of the time both husband and wife come to talk to me because they think theyre infertile. I say thinkbecause once we do the examination and tests we need to, we often find that theres actually nothing wrong. Its at this point that we have to start asking again and again, politely of course, if they are having a problem with intercourse. Then there are some bad cases, when the wife is just 16 years old, and we have to say that shes probably too young to have children.

Once, a couple came to me because they hadnt had children, but the examination showed that neither of them was infertile. So I kept asking about sex, until suddenly it became clear that they had been having only anal sex. Then there was also a time when a couple came to me saying the husband had a decreased libido. But actually, the husband wasnt particularly interested in having sex with his wife because he preferred porn. What follows in each of these cases is a lot of counselling.

One thing thats often common in infertility cases in rural and urban India men flat out refuse to undergo any tests to check if theyre infertile. They say its all the womans fault. I know a man who was worked up enough to divorce his wife because they hadnt had kids, but was still refusing to get tested himself. And then in Nalbari, there are women who have infertility, related to poly cystic ovarian syndrome, but their husbands dont want to spend on treatment, so they start having extra marital affairs instead.

Information or the lack of it is not always the problem. In many cases, Ive noticed that when couples think they are facing decreased libido or infertility, its something else altogether. Its that they are having mechanical sex without feelings or intimacy. Sometimes, theres no emotion involved because the couple hardly knows each other. The fact of the matter is that theyre unaware of each other and each others bodies. Its the reason women come in with post-coital tears and bleeding the women are not wet enough, aroused enough, but the husbands are trying to push their penis inside anyway, especially when theyre newly married.

When we see cases like this we do a lot of counselling. We keep telling the couple that they need to talk to each other. As it is theres very little conversation between them: the man goes off to work in the morning, and when they go to bed at night, the man complains the woman isnt interested, when the case is probably that shes exhausted after a day of cleaning, cooking, looking after the kids, and washing clothes.

Sometimes, when the woman comes on her own, she says her husband isnt interested when she is. But there is no room for her to tell her husband this.

Actually, when women come alone I hear a lot of other questions. (Sometimes, even if they do come with their husbands, they wait till theyre alone with me during examination to ask me what they really want to know). The most common complaint from women, something that she cant say to her husband, is the age-old problem that he always finishes first. She might phrase it like that, but what this really means is that she is not reaching orgasm and the husband is not at all interested in making sure she has an orgasm too. This problem as you can imagine, is common in cities too.

And very occasionally, a woman will come alone to the doctor if she is having pre-marital sex. These women come because they need contraception, and they cant go to a medical store and buy it, because everyone will look at them weirdly. I had one bad case, a woman who had had pre-marital sex came to me with an ectopic pregnancy [where a fertilised egg implants outside the uterus]. We had to tell her parents and get permission to do a surgery even though she was over 18, because that is the norm here.

It hits me every now and then how different things are here. There are almost no conversations about sex sometimes young women dont know anything about it until theyre suddenly in bed naked with a man. Its no wonder then that couples think the problem is a decreased libido or infertility when it isnt.

Everybody, whether theyre from a village or a city needs to be educated about sex. Once that happens, sex might even become more enjoyable as it should be.

You may also like

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *