Ritu Goyal Harish was a freelance journalist for 17 years before she gave it up to run her travel company. She now gives vent to the activist in her through her podcast, Rituism, where she talks about a range of subjects – from periods to yoga and more.
Her latest endeavour is to start conversations about menopause and hysterectomy (the surgical removal of a woman’s reproductive organs). Since all women will undergo menopause, the Pune-based mother of two believes that it’s time to start sharing experiences so women know they’re not alone and that their struggles are real and relatable.
In her latest episode, she speaks to Mumbai-based human-resources professional Jyotsna Nair about her experience undergoing a hysterectomy in her mid-40s, after suffering from painful endometriosis for over a year.
A mother to a seven-year-old, Jyotsna enjoys experiencing new cuisines, trying various adventure sports, travelling, Kathak, photography and is a voracious reader. However, the past couple of years have been difficult for her not only due to painful periods but due to medical apathy.
It wasn’t easy for her to make doctors understand the extent of her pain. “They told me this is ‘normal’ during periods and maybe I have a low threshold for pain,” she says to Ritu in this podcast. “It surprises me that there is hardly any research on endometriosis nor any support groups for women undergoing hysterectomy in India.”
The duo hope this podcast allows more open conversation around menopause and hysterectomy in India. “Most of all, I hope that the veil of silence surrounding women’s health is shed by women themselves so they can understand what’s happening with them and demand better medical care,” says Ritu.