Let me start with a confession: I am a 26-year-old woman and I have never been to a gynecologist. The idea of someone (man, woman alike) inspecting my hoo-ha literally sends chills down my spine. But even before I thought of interviewing Dr Munjaal Kapadia, the director of Namaha Healthcare (a multi-speciality hospital for women), I took to his podcast ‘She Says She’s Fine’ like a moth to a flame. From period to safe sex, miscarriages to motherhood, this show attempts to ‘alleviate the fear around women’s deepest, most private health concerns’.

Dr Kapadia says the idea for the podcast came about when he started to realise the lack of knowledge around even the basics of women’s health

Dr Kapadia says the idea for the podcast came about when he started to realise the lack of knowledge around even the basics of women’s health – “I used to regularly do Ask Me Anything sessions on Twitter and would receive a flood of enquiries I would do my best to answer. However, a podcast seemed to make sense as something I could do alongside my medical practice and as an informal, fun way of dispensing information.”

The topics discussed on the podcast are based on what the team thought was important to cover, because the doctor gets asked often about certain issues, and he feels there is a lack of accurate information about those issues in the society in general.

He informs, “I come well-prepared and well-researched for each of the interviews I do. It is important that I know our guests and the topic that we are going to cover. For each episode, I make my notes, plan the questions and the trajectory of the conversation for each recording because I only get one chance at this interview, no retakes. I need to make sure I get great insight and stories from the amazing women who come on the show.”

Coming from a family of gynecologists, the doctor grew up around conversations about health, women’s health in particular and saw his grandmother and father speak to families in their clinics.

“The actual science bit doesn’t come naturally. For that, you need to study, work hard, just like any other professional vocation… How to speak and how to listen, came naturally. What to speak, was a learned process,” he says.

Safe methods of contraception, dealing with rising incidence of sub-fertility and lately, the guilt associated with choosing a career over ‘settling down’, are some of the issues he has observed many women facing recently.

Safe methods of contraception, dealing with rising incidence of sub-fertility and lately, the guilt associated with choosing a career over ‘settling down’, are some of the issues he has observed many women facing recently.

“Providing women with scientifically correct information in a kind, compassionate environment usually helps resolve most concerns. Women need to understand, and believe, that they can indeed have it all.

In the grander scheme of things, doctors too must understand that it is their duty to enable women to become the best versions of themselves, medically and otherwise. And if you’re genuinely emotionally invested in the well-being of your patient, that would come naturally. Be an ally. Not an asshole,” he adds, frankly.

Dr Kapadia feels blessed to have received such a positive and encouraging response to the podcast, that it means so much to so many people. That how a little recorded conversation playing through your earphones can be a source of hope.

He adds, “The most inspiring part of doing this show is how open every single one of the women have been about their intimate stories. They make my work so much easier by being so willing to share their experiences with the world so that other women don’t feel alone in regards to whatever they may be going through at any point in their lives.

The only challenge was to juggle my medical practice with doing the podcast but I’ve been able to work that out with my amazing production team to make sure the recordings are planned around my surgeries, for example.”

Dr Kapadia hopes that whoever tunes in to the podcast learns to listen to women’s stories. And understand that she might not be ‘fine’ when she says she is.

Dr Kapadia hopes that whoever tunes in to the podcast learns to listen to women’s stories. And understand that she might not be ‘fine’ when she says she is.

“Learn to be a little sensitive to what she’s going through and make sure that you show you care. A woman might not always reveal the pain she is going through, be bold enough to ask, find out and care. Intent is useless without action.”

Photo Credit: Maed in India Team

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