Endometriosis Awareness Month: You Are Not Unfit For Desire!

March is known as Endometriosis Awareness Month, and it’s high time we talk about the disorder and how it affects a person in different ways.

March is known as Endometriosis Awareness Month, and it’s high time we talk about the disorder and how it affects a person in different ways.

I was 8 years old when I decided to adopt a girl child. When Sushmita Sen adopted her first child, my parents explained why it was a big deal. She is Miss Universe and has chosen to be a single mother without getting married. It is a huge challenge for society to accept it.

I was inspired and wanted to follow the same path. So, irrespective of my financial position, adoption continued to be a dream.

As I grew older, I realized that I might be hesitant when it comes to doing the deed. Eventually, I might even want my ‘own’ baby because I have been intrigued by the process of giving birth (believe it or not!).

So, I decided to make a choice when the time comes.

I did not know then that the freedom to choose could be snatched away from me. I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 27. The initial conversation included the removal of ovaries, which was later discarded by the gynaecologist.

I was put on treatment that stopped my menstruation in order to avoid the pain I suffered from during periods and also to help the cysts melt. But what they couldn’t help me manage was the sudden ‘lack-mindset’ that took over me.

How do I approach dating?

Painful penetrative sex is a symptom of endometriosis. The pain feels like a sharp knife tugging one’s insides. When I asked the doctor if I could be sexually active, she gave me a straight no, stating that penetration will cause my insides to contract that will further deteriorate the condition.

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She also mentioned that the pain caused during intercourse varies from person to person. While it remained unspoken, I assumed that if one is trying to have a baby naturally, only then sex is advised with precautions.

I wondered, how am I supposed to explain this to men I meet on dating apps?

I don’t really want to share it with a stranger. Is this the end of my sex life? Am I no longer allowed to make the choice about dating and marriage?

Am I unmarriageable? Is it wise to discuss children on first dates? I didn’t want to feel like a fraud who hid her health status and, most likely, inability to be pregnant. I felt undesirable, socially, without anyone rejecting me.

Can we accept that women want sex as much as men?

When I began discussing this with friends, they often said, “Sex is not everything. There are many men who understand this. These days, many people don’t even want to have kids. You’ll find your person.”

But the thing that they didn’t understand is that I wanted a healthy sex life, I wanted the choice to have kids and how. My dreams were getting shattered. It just felt like from being a cis woman with ‘high’ standards, I am being asked to settle for crumbs because that’s where I have landed medically.

I was making assumptions!

However, things changed over the course of a year. I realized I am making assumptions without playing the field. I am a feminist and yet, I tumbled down into the landfill of patriarchy.

Furthermore, I was ashamed. But I was also tired of crying all this time. Nothing good came out of being fixated on past wishes and future visions. I have to live in the present.

Life is full of possibilities, and no hiccups should stop us from exploring them. So, I am just going with the flow, accepting that we have very little control over what happens to us, but we can choose to respond to it in our way, no matter how long it takes. And it’s okay if we fall back because acceptance is a continuous process.

Image source: Desginer 491, THAPLMER, via Getty Images, free on CanvaPro

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Akankshya Abismruta

Freelance writer, researcher, and book reviewer. Words at Women's Web, Purple Pencil Project, Bookish Santa, Cesurae. Translation enthusiast. read more...

14 Posts | 46,940 Views

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