I love women, like really love them, it’s why I married one. My wife is a pretty awesome woman and one I am glad took the time to get to know me, fall in love with me and spend the rest of my life with me. Because, well she loves women too, that we have in common. But there is a lot we don’t have in common, we don’t feel the same about a lot of things.
It can be easy sometimes to feel everyone must feel the same as them. When Clara and I first got together, we spoke about me potentially carrying our first child. This was purely for genetic reasons and was something we very quickly dismissed. As it happened, our little man looks very similar to me and has provoked questions regarding his genetics coming from me. So to have a son that looks very similar to how I looked as a child is pretty amazing.
Which leads us to the baby carrying question that far too many people have asked. “Will you be carrying the next?” “Do you intend to have one each?” “You are so lucky to have two wombs”. Now these questions, despite mostly being quite innocent, can be quite insensitive. I have no desire whatsoever to experience pregnancy. But I also have medical issues that could cause complications.
You see I was recently diagnosed with Endometriosis. A condition that sadly affected my mother quite severely and also one of my close friends. It’s a condition far more common than I ever realised and sadly I suffered in silence for so many years because, I naively thought that despite not feeling the same as women in most areas, the majority of women felt the same as me, once a month.
For years I have experienced incredibly painful periods and just accepted that was how they were meant to be. Women rarely talk about their periods as it’s still seen as very taboo and something we just shouldn’t talk about. Being someone who is quite private about their body, I didn’t talk about mine. Well this needs to change, women need to talk about their periods, especially if they notice something that just doesn’t seem right. I often wish I’d gone to the doctor sooner and shared my concerns. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and could have saved me years of pain and frustration.
Now I’m not telling you to strike up a conversation about periods, with a stranger on the tube. But I am urging you to talk to friends, family, mothers, daughers about periods and help reduce the taboo. If I had realised that what I was feeling was not the same as the majority, I may have got diagnosed sooner. This is coming from someone who grew up in the same house as someone with Endometriosis. Despite seeing someone else in pain, I never questioned my own symptoms because I never discussed them, I just accepted them.
Before the taboo police come with their prude sprays, if you don’t feel comfortable talking about your periods, that is your issue not mine. I used to be in your camp, I didn’t like talking about periods, in fact some times I still don’t. It’s your choice to talk about your body and always should be. But this is just a gentle push for those worrying about their periods or for people with daughters/cousins/sisters. It could save someone a lot of pain and suffering in silence.