About a month ago, I woke up to a stabbing pain in my lower abdomen.
When I stood up to leave my English class, it felt like something inside of me had torn. After debating back and forth all day, I decided to go to urgent care. The doctor asked me a million and one questions before concluding I likely had an ovarian cyst that had ruptured and sent me to get an ultrasound.
A lot of people were asking me if I was ok. Being my honest self, I told the truth. I mean, I did have to call off of work to go to urgent care, why lie?
When I openly told people what happened, they looked at me with embarrassment.
"Oh, I hope you feel better..." was the blatant and awkward response I received from some people. I wasn't embarrassed over what happened. Why should I be? It wasn't my fault, nor did I give any gruesome details into my symptoms. I simply said, "Yeah, I had an ovarian cyst that ruptured. It was painful, but I'm feeling better now!"
Women's health issues are no different than any other type of health problems.
Just because they have to deal with our lady parts doesn't necessarily make them embarrassing. I get it, some people think it is inappropriate or gross to talk about this kind of thing. But talking about something is what helps something become the norm. It helps women relate to each other and not feel so alone. It is the same idea as erasing the stigma around mental illness by discussing it. Stuff like this is natural and it needs to be treated that way!
After sharing this experience, I learned that a lot of people I knew actually had the same thing happen to them. I pay a lot more attention to the posts on Facebook where my friends discuss their struggles with certain women's health conditions. I know women who struggle openly with endometriosis, an extremely painful condition. I know women who are suffering from recent miscarriages. These types of things shouldn't be "kept on the down low" just because someone finds it "weird" or "gross."
Talking about women's health also spreads awareness. Is something not feeling right? Are you concerned about something you are experiencing? Talk about it. Ask for advice. Go see your primary care physician or gynecologist. Don't be embarrassed or hide your concern just because you might think it isn't right to talk about.
Ladies, pay attention to your bodies. Don't ignore the signs it is giving you. There is no reason to be afraid to speak up. Being a woman is complicated, but it also takes a strong woman to own her sh*t and accept the things that come with womanhood.
Be open and honest, you might just encourage someone else to do the same.