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Health and Sanity

Rashmi Vasudeva
Features writer on health, lifestyle and the Arts, digital marketing blogger, mother
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piqer: Rashmi Vasudeva
Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Podcast Series: An Inside-Out Look At Women's Bodies

How much do we know our own bodies? Do we comprehend our pains? Do we ever wonder how deeply mysterious our bodies are?

If you are a woman reading this, have you ever thought about how women’s bodies are not just bodies and never have been? How has history, your own identity and the societal norms around you shaped your understanding of your health?

These are some of the deeply fascinating but disturbing questions this podcast series, which recently completed its first season, manages to raise within its listeners. I heard the first and the latest episode, and even much later my head was ringing with the true stories of grit and hopelessness it presented. In a sense, the podcast is a historical and cultural exploration of the female body that’s undertaken with much intimacy and frankness.

More importantly, these innermost details told (sometimes hesitatingly) by real people showcase a larger picture of how female pain is treated by the medical profession and society at large. This is a topic that has been gaining much press lately. The Atlantic and the BBC both recently carried deep-dive articles about the same issue. 

Take the first episode, which happens to feature Allison's very own lived experience. It looks at painful sex and how bewildering it can get. Allison herself had no idea why sex was so painful for her; she was young and in love and wanted to enjoy sex but couldn't. She approached a doctor who told her in as many words that lots of women experience pain during sex and she should dismiss it as another of those 'womanly' experiences. Sounds familiar? 

Allison's storytelling is not self-piteous or righteous. Instead, her tone is that of a pursuer. She goes on to talk about how she struggled to communicate her problem even to her loved ones. Ultimately, a specialist discovers that the pill she was taking was the root cause. From here, the podcast dives into details about the possible physiological reasons for painful sex, thus nicely rounding up the discussion.

Podcast Series: An Inside-Out Look At Women's Bodies
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