Girlhood, Gynaecology and Growing Up- My First Experience

In the India that I am growing up in, a woman goes to a gynaecologist only if absolutely necessary. In part, this is due to the hush-hush environment surrounding these issues, deemed to be improper to be spoken about freely. Here is my experience!

Saraakshi Adiraju
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Choosing best gynaecologist near me

Photo taken from Canva Stock Images

Gynaecology, originating from the greek Gyne- meaning woman and -logy meaning study, is an intensely personal experience for women stepping into adulthood. Going to a ‘Gynaec’ doctor to discuss with them about things you hold private well into your adult life is a novel experience. The first visit is almost always immersed in trepidation and timidity.

Why do we hesitate from going to a Gynaec? 

In the India that I am growing up in, a woman goes to a gynaecologist only if absolutely necessary. In part, this is due to the hush-hush environment surrounding gynaecological issues, deemed to be improper to be spoken about freely. The other part is due to the common lack of adequate knowledge surrounding women’s health. These two barriers to healthcare are a vicious loop perpetuating each other and causing further harm.

How many Gynaec visits are recommended and for whom? 


For example, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends annual checkups with your gynaecologist from the ages of 13-15; and in India, it is recommended to visit your gynaecologist annually from 18-21 years of age. How many women are aware of and follow this general practice in the maintenance of their health?

The first conversation many young women have surrounding the field of gynaecology is a consequence of a health scare, forever associating it with fear. If only we educated our young girls, we would have comfortable and confident adults who are better equipped to educate and practise important sexual and reproductive healthcare. Consult our Gytree Experts in Gynaecology if you seem to be experiencing any complaints. 

Photo taken from Bali Clinic

Personal experience as a Medical student 

As a medical student, my experience would be from the other side of the doctor’s table; about the way medicine in general and gynaecology more specifically, is practised. The first day I entered a government-run gynaecology hospital to learn from professors was an eye-opening experience.

I saw women from all walks of life, all ages, all in the hospital waiting for the ‘bade doctor’ (translated to senior-most/treating physician) to come in and help them with their questions and problems. I saw an implicit trust among the women, that no matter what, everything would be taken care of by the medical professionals in the hospital.


As optimistic as this hope is, many women still hesitate to take the first step and visit their gynaecologists. What holds them back? One instance comes to mind.

First Gynaec-Patient Interaction I witnessed 

The first ever patient interaction I witnessed was between a professor and a woman in her late twenties. It was an occasion of embarrassment for the woman, she believed her symptom of a burning sensation during urination was shameful and she had decided to wait for over a year for the problem to ‘go away’ on its own. She admitted that she would not have come in for a check if not for her husband insisting on intercourse which she had been avoiding due to her discomfort.

I felt uncomfortable during the whole experience because when a woman is ashamed enough to hide away because of a simple infection that could have been treated easily, we have not done enough as a community and country.

The prevailing condition of taboo, and even shame, is associated with women’s gynaecological experiences. In order to build a forthcoming population of young adults it is crucial to develop a sense partnership of the patient with the doctor and encourage women to take their health into their own hands. An early introduction to gynaecology and dispelling some common myths surrounding it would be a step in the right direction.

Photo taken from Canva Stock Images

Sex Ed- The need of the hour

Sexual education in schools, although having made leaps and bounds, still has a long way to go according to studies carried out - another aspect of the grassroot effort to build a healthier community. I believe we should empower all children with the knowledge to lead happier and healthier lives.

There is a common phrase ‘ladies’ issues’ that not just relegates, but also segregates, distancing anybody who is not a woman from essential knowledge to ensure healthy families. I believe we need to encourage universal learning about women’s health and deconstruct the taboo around it. As we get closer to celebrating the 49th International Women’s Day this year, let us all pledge to make each one better for women all over the world.