I have been very lucky with the doctor who’s been helping me sort my uterus out in Swansea, and it’s a little daunting that whatever happens now I’m going to have to figure it all out without Dr H now I’m back in Essex. Regardless, there are a couple of conversations that have happened with both Dr H, my GP, and Dr M, my gynaecologist, that I’m not sure are entirely fair. Disclaimer: I will be paraphrasing for comedic effect here, unless you want my full um-ing and ah-ing while I tried not to rage cry at them…
A lot of the reasons I feel the conversations are inappropriate is because I don’t think they would have happened at all if I was a man. If I was a man enduring horrible pain during sex, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be told to ‘keep trying other positions,’ ‘take ibuprofen before sex’ or pump my body full of hormones that also directly impact my sex drive. The truth is there would likely be a solution, simply because while men were figuring out how to fix their penises, for a long time research into female sexuality was often limited to hysteria, ‘wandering womb’ and childbirth. That said, the uterverse is a lot more complicated that the male reproductive system and so our understanding of it was always going to take a bit longer.
“Yes, but if it didn’t hurt on the pill, then you should go back on”
I’ve had a troublesome past with the contraceptive pill, both the combined and mini. So when Dr M asked ‘did sex hurt when you were on the pill’ and I said no, he said, ‘ah well there’s the solution then’. I calmly pointed out that things also weren’t bad before I was on the pill. The plan he was suggesting sounded to me like a mask solution, and that any serious problems I was dealing with would return if I ever came off the pill to, say, reproduce. I would prefer to deal with this situation now, rather than ten years down the road when it’s too late to be a surrogate for my sister because of a defunct uterus.
“What would you say if all I can offer you is either no libido or painful sex?”
The mini pill destroyed my sex drive. Physically and psychologically there was no ‘desire’ (read moisture) for sex. So when Dr M put this ultimatum before me I was a bit lost for words. Are these really the only options I have? Not wanting to have sex but possibly being able to, or wanting to have sex but not being able to? Pretty slim pickings if you ask me. It makes one ask, when will female sexual pleasure begin to be as important as male sexual pleasure?
Me: “I actually ended a relationship because of this” Dr H: “OMG well we’ll expedite your appointment then”
After several months of waiting for a gynae appointment and with things getting progressively worse, I visited Dr H and explained. She said there was nothing she could do until I’d seen the gynae. She asked how I was doing otherwise and I mentioned how honestly ‘it was making life a bit shit’. I subtly mentioned that I had ended a relationship because of it and suddenly, as if this was a new sign of the severity of my situation, she was able to write a letter and expedite my appointment, as well as book me in for an ultrasound. I received my gynae letter two days later and had a scan within a fortnight. Call me picky, but I kind of wanted my doctors help for me and my body, not for my love life.