Six years in a sexless marriage taught me how badly we need to talk about sex

I was sure there was something wrong with my body and so many doctors failed to help me
Updated 13 Sep, 2018

People always asked us why we didn’t have any kids. No one ever thought to ask if we'd consummated our marriage or not.

I was born and raised in a joint family in Karachi, the largest metropolis of Pakistan. The eldest of several siblings, I'd always been an extrovert, so much so that what happened with me later in life became the talk of the town. People would say to my parents, "Your eldest child is barren, woh tou bara bolti thi (she was quite outspoken)."

I was 18 when I signed my nikkah papers. Ours was a love marriage and I couldn't wait to begin life with my husband. But my rukhsati (the formal 'giving away' of the bride by her parents) didn't occur until two years later in 2008. At the age of 20, I could finally say that I was married to the love of my life.

We were happy together; we laughed, talked and spent all our time together. My husband, who was 25 at the time, was employed in the UAE. A month after our wedding, he went back to work, leaving me behind, a virgin.

DISCLAIMER: This article contains descriptions of medical procedures that some may find graphic in nature.

A sexless marriage

Few families openly talk about sex in Pakistan and my mother is no different. So I didn't get the 'talk' before getting married and had no idea how 'it' happens.

It didn't help that when I was younger, a tutor tried to molest me and my siblings. I believe that experience created subconscious fears about sex in my mind. My husband knew this and never pressured me to get intimate with him.

When we tried having sex on our wedding night, I couldn't bear the pain and my husband stopped.

We tried again multiple times but weren't successful. I felt like, in its true meaning, our marriage had yet to start.

But we were a happy couple and for him, sex wasn’t everything.

He returned to the UAE but came back some months later. Again, nothing happened.

About two years passed and our marriage remained unconsummated. My husband was well settled, I've always been a happy-go-lucky person and from the outside everything seemed 'normal' between us. Soon enough, tongues began to wag at home: "Why aren't you having kids?"... "What's wrong?"... "What do you do in your room all day?!"

And so we started a long phase of visiting hospitals and trying all sorts of medications.

No cure in sight

Someone in my husband's family had a tilted uterus due to which it was said she couldn’t have kids (this isn't scientifically true); my in-laws thought I had a similar condition. We got that checked first.

The doctor said everything was fine. My physical history was perfect, my periods were always on-the-clock. But I couldn't bring myself to share the real issue with her: we hadn't done the deed yet, so how could we have kids?

When I finally managed to tell one doctor that I couldn't have sex, I could only say that we couldn't do it because it's painful. She checked the ultrasound and said everything is perfect, “you are just scared”.

This was the standard response from the many gynaecologists I visited. When I described my pain to them, they would carry out tests and conclude that nothing was wrong.

"You're scared... that's the reason you can’t do it. Loosen up!" they said.

I was told to use lubricants. Another doctor said I might have swelling and gave me medicines for that. One doctor advised me to apply a local anaesthetic Xylocaine (used in endoscopy to numb the area).

We tried it all.

One female doctor said to me, “If I was your mom I would have slapped you twice”.

Apart from the rounds to the doctors, I was subjected to visits to pir fakirs (spiritual healers). One pir said that a jinn has possessed me; that jinn doesn’t want me to have a marital life. Another said that I'm having an affair with someone else, that’s why I'm not willing to start my married life with my husband.

My husband stood like a rock with me throughout; he is kind, soft-hearted and knew that both of us were trying, something is wrong which we can’t seem to fix.

A medical condition

In 2012, almost six years into my marriage and after innumerable doctors, pirs and fakirs, I moved to Dubai.

In 2014, I developed cysts in my breasts. I was being treated by Dr Archana Gupta at Thumbay Clinic and I was able to confide in her that I haven't been able to consummate my marriage. At this point in my life, I was sure something was wrong with my body.

I was reluctant to let the doctor examine me and she had to console me before she could proceed. She actually had a revelation. After doing a scan and later an internal ultrasound, she said it’s a clear case of a hypertrophied hymen, a condition where the hymen tissues are thick.

This condition has a number of types:

In the first, the hymen has a tiny hole in it through which blood flows out during periods. In some vaginas, there is no hole in the hymen and the female body goes through a lot of pain during periods. This is easily diagnosed at an early age and doctors either create a hole or remove the hymen.

In the second, the hymen is fully functional i.e. it has the hole but it's thick, like in my condition. It takes some effort to break through it, and, in severe cases, it may lead to serious complications. Forced sex can lead to internal tears that need to be repaired in the operation theatre under general anaesthesia.

Dr Archana was shocked by my husband's patience. She said, "You should be thankful that your husband was kind and didn’t force you because it’s common in villages for women to be forced to have sex and land up in hospitals. Because if you try to have sex with a girl whose vagina hasn’t developed yet, her vagina tears apart, sometimes up to her anus. They get third-degree stitches from their vagina to their anuses."

Another doctor told me that she has seen heavily bleeding brides brought in on their wedding night. The valima event often has to be cancelled in such cases, leading to social trauma.

The treatment for hypertrophied hymen is a hymenectomy, which is a minor surgery that removes hymen tissues. The surgery was meant to be 20 minutes long but was prolonged when doctors discovered there were four extra tissues inside the initial four detected.

Because my husband was also a virgin, he had performance anxiety too. He told me later that even though it was hard for him, he knew for sure that his love was going to be enough and we will find a solution.

After the surgery, they removed the tissues and I got about eight stitches. I was sent home with vagina dilators, which is done by inserting variously sized dilators to increase the opening.

My doctors said it would take a month to heal and after the final check-up, we were allowed to have intercourse.

I conceived the same month and we had our first baby and the second soon after.

The barren woman

When I was going through this ordeal, at weddings, people wouldn't let me sit with the bride because I was "barren". My in-laws would taunt me that since I couldn't give them a grandchild they'll have to get my brother-in-law married. My brother-in-law’s children and mine are age fellows, born months apart.

I hope to raise awareness by sharing my story. I wasted six years of my life, enduring emotional and mental trauma as people taunted me for being barren and unfaithful. My mother asked me, “What do you do in the room all the time?” and my father thought there was something wrong with my husband because his family had a history of diabetes.

My father-in-law thought something was wrong with me because Punjabi men are always fertile.

People weren’t ready to accept my side of the story. A man who doesn’t force his wife is under pressure, under a black magic spell or not manly enough. If a woman says, "I can’t have sex," people usually laugh at her. They do not realise some woman may actually have a medical issue. Because I had no information I wasn’t able to understand my body. I had started to believe everything that was being said and thought about me was true. Maybe I was doomed or my body is abnormal. I wasn’t married for six years, according to society.

We survived because my husband was strong, we both knew we were doing our best and were happy with each other even during the hardest phase of our lives. My confidence was never shattered only because of my husband’s love, undivided attention and support.

My mother later confessed that she thinks she failed as a woman because of the lack of knowledge we have about our bodies and the little we pass on to young girls. We tend to ignore the signs our body gives us and I wasted six years of my life because of this so-called ‘sharam’ (shyness).

Parents should listen to their children and doctors need to check them thoroughly and not make personal comments. No one asked me why I was scared, or why wasn’t it actually working out? We take sex for granted in Pakistan; we think everyone is able to do it.

Not really.


talib Sep 11, 2018 10:17am
Very informatic for new wed couple, >>>>>>
vinod sharma Sep 11, 2018 10:19am
Patients should not hide their diseases and they should talk to the doctor freely without inhibition. Because hiding diseases may prolong the problem. Adults should have knowledge of sex-related diseases.
Mazhar Sep 11, 2018 10:25am
Excellent read, good that you shared. Education and normal positive talk before wedding about such matters is essential to avoid such issues, but unfortunately so far, it is missing and considered as taboo in our society
khan Sep 11, 2018 10:26am
Families in Pakistan need to openly discuss sex with their grown-ups! There is nothing to be ashamed of this as almost everyone in their life has to go through this process.
Rifat Mohsin Sep 11, 2018 10:30am
Thanks for writing this wonderful and educational article. This issue is mostly a biggest taboo in our society and has Continued to be for a long time but I believe with women Getting educated it will be addressed and nobody needs to Suffer. Please get your daughters educated in this area of our Lives.
Syed irfan ali Sep 11, 2018 10:30am
What an educational story!!!
Baqir talpur Sep 11, 2018 10:31am
So much respect and love for both, you and your husband ma'am. We badly need more men like him and women like you in our society. Stay blessed.
Smart_2 Sep 11, 2018 10:32am
Telling A to Z story is strictly prohibited and not to be appreciated ,only the mention of medical reasons and social backlash would be enough. However, social pressures and your close relatives doing these things in such conditions is highly unacceptable and equally torturing for both the are lucky enough to come out of this otherwise many people stuck in it!
Madeeha mahmood Sep 11, 2018 10:34am
Very informative article. Thanks for sharing and providing awareness on this sensitive topic.
Shahnawaz Sep 11, 2018 10:36am
Thanks for educating us both medically & socially. “Log kia kahengey” has literally destroyed lives. We better change our approach towards life and take our young ones in confidence regarding such important issues in life. Parents must guide kids throughout and kids must confide in their parents too. Silence will only prolong the problem, not solve it.
Well wisher Sep 11, 2018 10:37am
Great share and salute to your Husband. May you always remain together happily.
A Sep 11, 2018 10:37am
Thanks for sharing such a useful piece of information, i find myself obliged to share this article to create as much awareness as i can but at the same time, feel for the couple who would have gone through social pain.
Farhan khan Sep 11, 2018 10:40am
Truly an eye opener for the society and I have to say that be it Pakistan or India, the taboo regarding sex is very much there. Let's spread awareness in the society.
Sheraz Sep 11, 2018 10:44am
Now that is a superb article from a brave brave lady. Lady!! You are a gem and I have all the respect for you in the world...! Weldon Dawn for publishing such articles...
HABIB ALI Sep 11, 2018 10:46am
Itrat Khaliq Sep 11, 2018 10:47am
A very informative and thought provoking article. Your experience has educated me to take sex as serious social issue rather than just taking it for granted. kudos to you
tanveer Sep 11, 2018 10:47am
Thank you Dawn for breaking taboos. We badly need to talk about sex. These are real issues which have been ruining lives of so many girls just because they couldn't talk openly. Well done
Tahir Abbas Sep 11, 2018 10:52am
Hats off to writer and ..I really appreciate you people on educating us on issue like this. Keep doing good work !
S. daniel Sep 11, 2018 10:52am
Our society needs to be open and flexible about such issues. Somehow, it all connects with having a good standard of Education.
zia Sep 11, 2018 10:57am
I am having exact same issue since my wedding last March. Thanks for highlighting this issue and now i have seen some ray of hope by reading your article.
Fahad Sep 11, 2018 10:59am
Beenish Hasan Sep 11, 2018 11:05am
INSPIRATIONAL !Love was there.Her husband is great man.But this does not happen all the time.This is a taboo in our society.
Yasir Sep 11, 2018 11:06am
Kudos to you for sharing this. I am shocked at the attitude of gynecologists in Pakistan who couldn't figure out the reason for your ordeal. Best of luck!!
shahzad Sep 11, 2018 11:11am
How a pure medical problem would cause social constraints and mental agony. Very informative article,
Chishti Sep 11, 2018 11:13am
Excellent, well versed and explained, never read before. Your husband is a real Gentleman and you are a brave lady. But the height is "Punjabi men are always fertile" Lol Stay blessed lots of love to the baby.
AJK Sep 11, 2018 11:15am
Respect for the couple to stand tough against all the opposition. Appreciate for sharing it with the world, so others can benefit! highly appreciated.
RAR Sep 11, 2018 11:16am
Story was very sad but appreciated because It's very difficult to digest the surrounding people views and taunts. I know two very close friends with whom this has happened but, one of them, was succeeded after 1.5 years struggle. 01 is still not share his position what's going as this is very common in Pakistan to hide from others such issues. By studying this story, repeat same scenario as with my friends. Doctors / Mullah (Fakir, Pir ) all have no idea about this. Kindly don't go to Mullah as they get benefit of doubts by giving such statements ( Jins, Na mard, Banch). I appreciate her husband who support in each way and salute this brave lady who suffer and finally succeeded. Best of luck for your future.
Awais shaikh Sep 11, 2018 11:23am
The article is great, feel for the pain. It is very very important to educate our population. One suggestion though (hope you won't mind), either words like penis, erection out vagina should be avoided or at least put a parental warning on the article so that at least kids do not get to read such terms.
Shakir Baakza Sep 11, 2018 11:34am
Admire your courage to come out and help others. It seems that your gift was Dr Archana who could diagnose correctly. Its an everyday problem in Pakistan, we simply cannot diagnose, so forget cure. It is the same in any and all sphere of our lives here.
shiva Sep 11, 2018 11:37am
Three heroes in this story: the courageous writer, the strong & kind husband and the thorough medical expert Dr. Archana Gupta. The rest are donkeys.
Arfa Sep 11, 2018 11:41am
Much respect for you and your amazing husband... Don't leave him.. you and him both are gems!.. awesome article.. much love for your kids ... Thank you dawn and a huge thanks to the lady!
Ayaz Munir Sep 11, 2018 11:46am
This is the best love story I have ever read, a husband like the one the author has is very rare, may Allah bless them both.
Kazmi Sep 11, 2018 11:48am
This will be very insightful for a lot of young couples. Kudos to you and your husband for staying strong. It would have been a different story if you have had an arranged marriage.
Haq Sep 11, 2018 11:49am
Salute to the patient husband
Fehmida Sep 11, 2018 11:49am
What is alarming for me is You went to multiple doctors in Pakistan and no one was able to diagnose the real issue.
Khan Sep 11, 2018 11:50am
Though I fully sympathize with the couple. But I wonder are you people educated ones? Do you people treat yourself like this? I appreciate that the male partner was supportive enough not to give up on her, but why did he not care to take his wife to some gynaecologist or a psychiatrist ? Why so passive behavior?.now a days every kinda information is available on google, why did they not even search on google about causes of painful intercourse? Solution was just one click away!.Was the couple illiterate? It can only make sense if the couple was very poor n illiterate
Sabiha Sep 11, 2018 12:00pm
Its a horror story with a happy ending. I wish women in Pakistan accept and own themselves and their bodies. We have a long way to go but the beginning is here.
Arif Sep 11, 2018 12:03pm
I am glad we are talking about this. I bet there are similar cases and everyone can learn from this educational experience. My x-wife had vaginismus and we had to be very patient for years. We did manage to have two children but besides that still had challenges. Unfortunately, ended up in divorce when i found her cosying up with another guy. This is what I got in return. Sigh! Pls always respect your spouse to hang in there with you during this tough time as temptations are always there and he didn't succumb.
Ayaat Sep 11, 2018 12:05pm
Such a sad but strong story. Thanks for share.
Faisal Salman Sep 11, 2018 12:13pm
Although this is very bold to talk about such an experience but at the same time very heart touching. However the real issue is that most of our doctors are doing MBBS, starting their practice and not updating their knowledge. They just work with the old text and thumb rules whereas the price of this ignorance is paid by the patients. This is multi-dimensional issue and many sides need to be addressed.
eric Sep 11, 2018 12:15pm
god bless Dr Archana Gupta at Thumbay Clinin, and ur husband for helping u
Turab Sep 11, 2018 12:18pm
Thank You for sharing. You people are inspiration. This opened new doors of awareness to me.
KAMRAN aKBER Sep 11, 2018 12:27pm
Excellent Article. Appreciatable for the courage. Thank you
Misbah Sep 11, 2018 12:58pm
The surprising fact is none of the doctors in Pakistan tried to examine and diagnose your condition. Sorry to say but the whole society is very insensitive especially towards women.
Moon Sep 11, 2018 01:01pm
Bravely written. Very useful article and people should go through it.
Asma Sep 11, 2018 01:07pm
Thank you Images! Thank you so much! You have really given women like me a voice. And we want to hold the doctors accountable and also our society which just blames us ladies for everything.
Annam Lodhi Sep 11, 2018 01:30pm
@Khan she tried innumerable doctors. They were scared and uneducated about the world of sex and about their own body. That's the issue, we have no sex education in Pakistan and they just weren't enlightened enough to well check online; plus the mental stress was unhelpful too.
Khan Sep 11, 2018 01:35pm
Sorry my earlier comment was knee jerk emotional response to an easily preventable 6 years of misery. Here is my rational response. Sex education is unfortunately a taboo topic in our society. Because of the lack of sex education , people have so many misconceptions, wrong harmful myths. And moreover there is lack of proper knowledge among health professional and there is lack/dearth of mental health professionals/services. All these factors result in so much unnecessary and easily preventable distress n pain to individuals n couples. Sex education is the need of the hour . its responsibility of the parents, teachers, health professionals, electronic n print media and above all the government to take measures I.e. reduce shame /taboo status around this topic, educate people especially younger ones about sex physiology, help people to handle their sex related problems/issues.Unfortunately all these stakeholders are not doing enough in this regard and the space is filled by jahil people like hakeems, pirs, amils, street boys, criminal minded people causing a lot of misery to the affected lot. Now a brief comment on the particular couple discussed in this article. Its great to learn that the husband was so much supportive and non pushing. But he also needed help for his sexual performance anxiety. And secondly he needed to be more proactive in seeking proper help for himself n his partner. He should not have left this job to aunties n uncles. Then there is the negative role of the health professionals / gynaecologists who didn't care to properly examine the lady in earlier stage and falsely reassuring her. The health professionals themselves need to be educated about sex in Pakistani medical colleges!
Awais Sep 11, 2018 01:51pm
Emotional, informative and takes an extrovert to Share. Bravo to you and your partner for enduring the storm and sharing the story for others benefits.
AG Sep 11, 2018 01:53pm
Thank you for this. My respect for this publication increased manifold.
Uzma Sep 11, 2018 02:05pm
Bless you Dawn.
Alba Sep 11, 2018 02:23pm
A BIG Topic. One that cannot be covered in 12 volumes. _ India has the same problem. A woman was recently arrested and charged for talking about Sex Education on TV. _ Nonetheless, South Asia seems to have gotten the job done. Start With The Subject of Human Reproduction not relationships. Pakistanis need to know the facts. Most do not even know how and why women conceive. You All Need education not conversation.
Shaheen S. Sep 11, 2018 02:46pm
@shiva I fully agree to your thought. The author and her husband are sheer heroes in real life, and so is Dr Archana Gupta without whose medical advice, the ordeal would have continued forever. I wonder if all the other doctors consulted were quacks, or just a poor product of their respective medical colleges.
saima Sep 11, 2018 03:11pm
Mad respect for Dawn!
usman Sep 11, 2018 03:13pm
@Shaheen S. this is really very informational article even for highly educated persons too! I am doing M. phill in molecular biology have enough knowledge about such circumstances but to be honest had never listened or thought of it n finally hats off for your handback who is a real man n understood you deliberately.
Ch. K. A. Nye Sep 11, 2018 03:19pm
@vinod sharma... What sort of 'diseases' are you referring to?
Masood Sep 11, 2018 03:28pm
Excellent sharing. Knowledge must prevail and hats off to your strong husband.
BT Sep 11, 2018 03:48pm
Thanks for bringing up this issue. Another medical condition called Endometriosis makes the sex very painful. A supporting husband is a blessing.
Jeff Sep 11, 2018 03:52pm
@Arif Sorry for your experience. Thank you for sharing this story. Really sad how our society treats such sensitive issues.
hello Sep 11, 2018 03:56pm
Your husband is a real man! A Hero...
SMN Sep 11, 2018 04:02pm
Good share! Writer comprehensively covered the social aspects. Kudos to the couple to set a good morale example of love and sacrifice specially the husband!
Unknown Sep 11, 2018 04:08pm
I had the same problem. I got married in 2013 and we didn't have intercourse till the mid of 2017. Long story short, I am now a father a lil girl who is 6 months old.
Faisal Sep 11, 2018 04:13pm
Thanks for sharing, other couples may be going through the same and will find this article helpful and informative. It also paints a true and sad picture of our society. We need to grow up on so many levels.
Mehak Sep 11, 2018 04:18pm
Thank you for sharing your story we all need to be informed both men and women and kudos to your husband for no forcing you and having patience and double kudos to you for being able to bear all of this
Aisha NAz Sep 11, 2018 04:47pm
Informative and helpful article. keep up the good work, Dawn.
Pakistani1 Sep 11, 2018 04:53pm
Thank you for sharing. Some sex education given before the marriage is beneficial to all. it can be done by a doctor or an elder. I hope we can overcome various taboos that surround this subject.
Fiya Sep 11, 2018 05:29pm
Muchhhh needed info for the girls..I went thrgh the same issue and I can totally relate to this..much lobe and more power for sharing something that normally our society wont allow us
Wazir Sep 11, 2018 05:43pm
Great learning for all future mothers and current even
m mehdi Sep 11, 2018 05:51pm
I am puzzled that no doctor in Pakistan could diagnose such a simple condition??? Only in Dubai!!!
MrAli Sep 11, 2018 06:00pm
A story of courage and true love... Thank you so much for sharing... Really appreciate it. Much respect for the both of you.
Love Your Country Sep 11, 2018 06:08pm
Jinn and peers are a real problem of Muslim society of the sub-continent. Lack of religious awareness has allowed a black market to develop and nobody does anything about it.
TQ Sep 11, 2018 06:24pm
One female doctor said to me, “If I was your mom I would have slapped you twice”. This is highly unethical comment by a doctor. Unfortunatly as a doctor we are not taught ethics and to top that our law has no rules. PMDC which is supposed to be making sure doctors are doing their job correctly only is interested in making money. I am sorry to hear about your ordeal and the fact that you were not taken seriously by doctors. This is also because even these trained doctors wre brought up in the same society and have the same thought process. Even as doctors we are not taught about the social/psychological aspects of sex and donot know how to deal with patients sensetivly
Harry jam Sep 11, 2018 06:24pm
You my friend are a brave soul, a brave woman and I salute you. Your husband was supportive but it is your strength that is commendable.
Secularist Sep 11, 2018 07:03pm
Congratulations, Annam and Dawn. You exhibited extraordinary maturity and courage in sharing your story. People of both Pakistan and India can draw a lot of inspiration to deal with this taboo subject and live happy, fruitful lives. I have yet another message regarding yet another taboo topic: Adoption. The author had a medical solution that is available to millions, and fairly easily too. For millions of others who cannot benefit from medical intervention, they should seriously consider adoption. We have two children whom we adopted. Both are grown up and settled. It is incredible how they enriched our lives. Approach adoption as a selfish act rather than as an act of charity (as most desis are wont to describe). Its enriches the lives of both adoptive parents and adopted children.
IMRAN Sep 11, 2018 07:11pm
Well its impossible in our society.My wife has same issue and i am asking her to visit proper doctor but she is no willing to visit because of shyness .
Kashif Sep 11, 2018 07:23pm
Congratulations! Doctors biggest obligation is patient satisfaction. The author had the opportunity to go to dubai, where she was diagnosed and treated. Doctor patient interaction is so formal and useless in Pakistan that it leads to over medication and unnecessary tests. Doctors have to start listening and counselling, period.
Irfan Ul huq Sep 11, 2018 07:29pm
A painful sexual act is called dyspareunia and taught in the 3rd yr.of medical school. : Any : Physician should be able to recognize this, then refer it to any gyaenacologist who can diagnose after good physical exam. Depending on the problem the person can be : referred to a gynecologist who can handle such cases or refer to a center. For this kind of problem one does not need sex education but only education.
Hashmi Sep 11, 2018 08:25pm
what a legend .. your husband is ... pay my regards to him for being a real man ..
Ammar Sep 11, 2018 08:25pm
Your Husband is a hero and so are you. There is no real talk about how babies are made and no sex ed curriculum. Its very painful to read that you had to wait so many years beacuse doctors couldnt diagnose a small issur solvable by a minor surgery.
M. Saeed Sep 11, 2018 08:43pm
Extremely bold disclosures and aptly written to enlighten so many would be doomed marriages. Proves again the famous saying in urdu: "Jis nay ke sharam, uske phootay karam".
BumbleBee Sep 11, 2018 08:57pm
Hats off to you. This seems like my story. My mother has been psychologically unwell since I was born, so I ended up confiding in my mother in law. She said this was an underlying issue, I was molested as a child. She sent my husband abroad and convinced me to make an unofficial visit to her best friend's husband-a psychiatrist. I agreed assuming he was a religious man and he would guide me like a father. He accused me of molesting children, affairs, being homosexual and insisted it was inevitable in molestation cases. He also blamed my poor father for being evil and negligent. I did not react, I was fragile, I thought he was testing my tolerance- I responded by saying that it wasn't true. I was diagnosed with a personality disorder. I refused to take the pills. My husband, 24, jobless and immature, was commanded by his parents to divorce me on that basis.
N_Saq Sep 11, 2018 08:58pm
Well, sex education start at grade 8 in all Western schools. There are female sex teachers who go to every school to give sex education to boys and girls so that they can understand each other bodies, diseases, problems etc. Even in the West, in the beginning the students are shy but slowly by slowly they open up and discuss their question with the teacher. If we treat sex as education then it is not taboo but a learning experience just like any other course/subject.
Tariq, Lahore Sep 11, 2018 09:45pm
An informative article like this will probably save someone's marriage! Well done, it's a great public service. Thank you Dawn.
Rev. Eldrick Lal Sep 11, 2018 09:51pm
I salute you especially for your courage in writing this article. Yes, Sex is considered highly taboo in our society.
Faheem Sep 11, 2018 10:27pm
AW Sep 11, 2018 10:29pm
Every young woman as well as man should have compulsory sex education class in high school. There is no shame in learning about one’s body and the reality of male-female relationship.
CHRIS Sep 11, 2018 10:38pm
The Indian doctor was the best..
Voice of reason Sep 11, 2018 10:41pm
@Awais shaikh the importance of sex education is the point of the article literally
daddy sam Sep 11, 2018 10:41pm
Very informative. The severe pain during intercourse is with us too even after 4 years of wedding. we have 2 baby daughters 2, 3 years of age both on c section. our marriage is almost sexless due severe pain during intercourse to my wife. may be the hypertrophied hymen case is with her too. will visit doctor ASAP. thanks for sharing
Bushra Sep 11, 2018 10:42pm
Thank you for being so bold to share such an intimate topic in a public forum. My friend had similar issues and was in a similar marriage for almost 7 years. Fortunately, her husband too was very supportive. She was living in the States and finally opened up to her doctor about this- thinking something was probably wrong with her. She was diagnosed with vaginismus and prescribed a dilator treatment that finally worked. Website - for those in similar situation:
Dr Danish memon Sep 11, 2018 11:01pm
Bravo!Three cheers to the lady for sharing this and for making people aware about this condition. I suppose the husband needs double appreciation for obvious reasons..Im from India:)
Jo Sep 11, 2018 11:08pm
Brilliant article. Thank you for sharing your lived-in experience. I was molested by numerous men in my childhood and as a man I found relationship difficult. But thankfully I have a beautiful family.
Kamran khan Sep 11, 2018 11:10pm
Dear ma’am Thank you fir sharing. However I am extremely confused as to why a seemingly educated and outgoing woman go about a charade when she knew what was the issue. You could’ve easily gone to see a doc even quietly to figure out. Yet your article seems to be all about your relative and I am not saying we are not ‘jahil’ to this stuff but u r equally to blame. Respectfully.
Akhilesh Sep 11, 2018 11:18pm
It's 110% relatable. Thanks from the deepest of my heart.
abbottonian 43 Sep 11, 2018 11:40pm
you did wasted 6 years of life but by sharing your story with yo saved thousands of "Six Years" of married couples. May you have twins next time ...
zee Sep 11, 2018 11:45pm
Wow, You are very strong and determined, I have heard these issues of wedding night bleeding, never knew the issue was what you described. I hope and wish more people will read and educate themselves. Your husband is kind and strong, I can only say "Shabash"
SS Sep 12, 2018 12:00am
First off, on behalf of everyone, I appreciate you making the effort to come out and share this story. It may have helped/educated a lot of other couples. Culture is stupid! We are stuck in it. People say dont westernize your culture, but this is about health and awareness. Talking about sex is essential. We dont have sex education yet, which I can understand being in the confines of Islam. But it is still possible for the parents to have that first 'talk'. Not with just the woman but with the man as well. I again say it, culture is stupid. Three out of the four parents talked about int he article, each had a different opinion - and a useless and a negative one. I think we are in 2018, I am not saying be all Americanized, or Westernized but awareness and education about these things is essential for the health of us, our current and future of our generations.
dabangg Sep 12, 2018 12:27am
Typical desi attitude. I doubt it very much if couples will be taunted in the West for not having kids.
BK Sep 12, 2018 12:48am
Very informative. It probably took lot of courage to write on a taboo topic.
Waheed Noor Sep 12, 2018 03:00am
I am happy the poor woman did not look at the religion of the gynaecologist Dr Archana Gupta, a Hindu. I am happy she finally is able to conceive. Unfortunately we do not have sex education in schools. Happy it all ended well. Thank you for sharing. Hope it will help others similarly situated.
Zak Sep 12, 2018 03:26am
You may have helped a lot of people by your bold article. They will all thank you.
Farah Sep 12, 2018 05:33am
The untold story that is badly needed to be open to all... Thanks for sharing ,,it's a great effort
YASMEEN Sep 12, 2018 07:05am
Dawn, you are like a Dawn in our lives after a long dark night. thank you so much for this article. My daughter is having problems and we haven't been able to find any solutions. We are now writing to Dr Gupta and seeking her advice on my daughter's problem. Hopefully she can recommend a doctor either in Pakistan or abroad.
white noise Sep 12, 2018 07:09am
First up, I salute the author for picking up and the courage to talk about such a deep personal matter. Talking about sex is a taboo, why? not enough education around it I guess. If parents can talk about everything, why they don't talk about sex with kids when they are getting married? even now in 2018 when someone is getting married I get a question like, bhai jaan kuch batain gay iskay baray main? The role of the father in this matter is mainly missing. When I met my wife, she was blank about it also so we had conversations about it before anything else. I started talking to my kids soon they hit puberty, I talked to them about what's coming next, they needed to know, to be prepared. if it hadn't been due to my exposure in the West, I would never been able to talk about it. I think this gen is more educated than our parent's so they must not hesitate to talk about it. we should also have a conversation about sexual health, like other things in life, this is important too, it should no longer be a taboo.
KhanZ Sep 12, 2018 08:11am
The ironiy in all of this is that its the educated that are actualy 'uneducated'. 'Paray likhay jaahil' is the correct term I believe! Doctors as professionals have no right to get personal and get judgmental. Big up to the husband I say. I hope Pakistan produces more men like him! Im surprised a column was even written on this. We need so uch more awarness about sexual health. Every body 'does it' but forsnt want to talk about it hmmmm. See the problem?! Like weir just meant to know, this info falls from the sky into our minds.
Zafar Sep 12, 2018 08:27am
Immense respect for the gentleman. Awareness is very important and to some extent in college classes some subjects must be introduced to tackle such issues.
ISLAMIC_bOY Sep 12, 2018 08:57am
There is nothing wrong with living a sexless life! This absolute craze of having sex and children has left the Islamic society tainted!
Sooby Bhattacharjee Sep 12, 2018 09:24am
What an educating story. I am so happy for you and your family. My kudos to your husband and partner. A country that produces strong and lovely couples such as you and your husband should not be in the shackles of religious zealots, it deserves to be liberated and prosperous!
Saddam Jan Sep 12, 2018 09:46am
Educational article!!
Junaid Ahmed Sep 12, 2018 11:05am
We need such articles to educate our masses and even doctors too, as it is combined failure of both. This article must be referred in PMA's journal. And if possible it's Urdu version should also be published. Sex education is not a taboo, it must be started from secondary school education.
mike Sep 12, 2018 11:23am
Finally an article about vagina. Thank you Dawn
Shah Sep 12, 2018 12:03pm
I have been married for almost 18 years to my mamo-ki-beti who hate sex. I can not divorce her because of family considerations. 18 years is a life time. I feel I have wasted all my adult life. There is no help to get. Of course I have talked about this for years with her but it always ends up in a fight. I just walk around frustrated all the time for years. This is not a good position to be in as it effects my religious duties, my career and my relations with my family.
abdul saleem akhtar Sep 12, 2018 12:10pm
I liked it very much, its a bioinformatic for me as a human being its a true story. and we must share to inform community.
Rahman Sep 12, 2018 02:06pm
I feel sharing private issues openly, even with the objective of helping others (for which our society is in a direction need) takes courage tha only a few may possess. I find you as couple, your story and your courage to share for other's good, inspiring.
Imtiaz ali khan Sep 12, 2018 02:13pm
Thank you for sharing your story Annam Lodhi . Thank you Dr Gupta. Thank you Husband. Sex education needs to be must across IndoPakBangla these stories repeats include Sri Lanka and Nepal also along with many other nations in our Sub Continent. IndoPakBangla Blood Brothers 4 Life!
huma yousaf Sep 12, 2018 02:37pm
your story made chill run down my spine. you are a really brave woman to have endured such a pain emotionally and physically. I really appreciate your caring husband. Thanks a lot for sharing your story. It was really informative
Sumera Sep 12, 2018 02:37pm
Great initiative by you alot of women are shy and cannot share it with anyone and even some do with their friends it becomes a gossip for them instead of helping they make fun of you. They have no idea and don’t care what the other person goes through and it could happen with them too. Atleast it will give awareness to alot of people Thumbs up And yes your husband is a gem of a person Most men start extra marital affairs or go for second marriages or change their behaviours towards their wives if they don’t get sex marriage is not only about sex only if we understand it life could be alot easier
NUH Sep 12, 2018 02:49pm
I think this should be a case study to be taught to gynaecologists in medical schools. It must be fruitful for many practitioners. A courage and daring effort portrayed by the writer in conveying her experiences. Kudos
Syed Sep 12, 2018 02:55pm
my 2 cents on this are as follows: While informative for a lot of people, the most important takeaway for me is the role her husband played in this. He was a rock who stood by her when she needed him the most and as per this article, his love also stood the test of time. He seems like a true star and definitely part of a dying breed!
Ehsan Sep 12, 2018 03:06pm
Thanks for sharing this. Doctors in Pakistan behave like this in general. I used to have shin splints (pain), when I researched myself it was due to me being flat feet. I went to doctor to get a solution, his reply was "meri taango main khud dard hota" then I had to go to another doctor. He advised me to wear special in soles, now I can run like anyone but still remember the doctor with pain in his legs.
irfan khan Sep 12, 2018 04:41pm
It is very informative and it is so great that you had shared your story. No one knows how much of girls would be have such problems and their loved life being compromised due to such medical conditions. Salute to your husband for such patience, respect, love and commitment. He really indeed is a great person.
Arun NAIR Sep 12, 2018 07:05pm
If someone needs to be slapped tightly on both their cheeks, it is the Pakistani gynaecologists whom you consulted. It is a shame that they couldn't diagnose a minor gynaecological condition like hypertrophied hymen. Appreciate you wholeheartedly for opening up about this medical condition. May you be blessed with an enjoyable married life.
Shahid Ghouri Sep 12, 2018 08:47pm
She has a medical related issue not psychological. She should be diagnosed by an obstetrician. Unfortunately, many of the Pakistani Obstetricians are not competent. Even in Pakistan Obstetrician are not trained to do the ultrasound.
Moony Sep 12, 2018 11:27pm
@Kamran khan She did go to multiple doctors. Did you not read? She went to many gynaecologists in Pakistan.
Jamil Soomro, New York City Sep 13, 2018 07:06am
@Shah Since you are married to your Mamu ki beti she is your mamuzad behan.Because of blood relationship both of you are cousin brother and cousin sister as such she has sisterly feelings for you.That is why she finds sex disgusting.
J Sep 13, 2018 08:57am
Thankyou for sharing! I really appreciate your courage in striving to educate young girls with such taboo topics!
Fm Sep 13, 2018 10:27am
Thank you for sharing this story! As a doctor I must say in this case, many female doctors were rash and abrupt in their handling of this patient, hence missing a diagnosis that should have been made years ago. Kudos to you and your better half for bearing all this bravely! Sex-ed is a must need in this country and our society.
Urdu Sep 14, 2018 02:06am
Thank you for the very wonderful article. I cannot commend enough the courage it to write this article and talk about this issue. I would request if possible translate it into Urdu and share on other news websites so more people in Pakistan can read. Thank you.
Raja salman Sep 14, 2018 09:52am
Informative one. Hats off to your Husband Ma'am. Unfortunately, we have a few in our society like him. Lacking of sex-education creates alot problems in newly wed couples, in particular.
ST Sep 14, 2018 11:59am
@Awais shaikh I agree. No need to give thorough details .
Ahmed Sep 15, 2018 12:33pm
This is very informative article, these things should be spoken up openly without any shame. I had a little similar kind of problem, my wife was really scared of having it done. She did not accept coming closer to her first night. Later she got pain whenever i did intercourse. But after a few weeks pain becomes less and changed into pleasure and fear also gone away. Men in this case play major role to normalize woman.
Ayman Gheith Sep 16, 2018 02:10am
@Shah How are your "religious duties" being are related to sex or the lack of it?
Ashutosh Mishra Sep 16, 2018 12:22pm
Good that the article is shared by you. So many people will benefit should they care to read it!!
shumail Sep 16, 2018 12:46pm
thanks alot for sharing , its really informative.
This country is in shambles Sep 17, 2018 02:53am
@Awais shaikh Wow! Grow up! You just proved the writer’s point. These words are being used as Medical Terms. Not something to arouse the reader. Our children should be able to read them without feeling the taboo the writer was writing about. We should be able to talk to our own children about.
This country is in shambles Sep 17, 2018 02:59am
@Secularist that is the most inspirational thing ever said about adoption. Thank you. People need to hear that.
lkhan Sep 17, 2018 11:02am
@Rifat Mohsin .... and sons be educated too, indeed more so.. What a jewel of a husband she has... Six years, such loving patience.. what a couple.. Well all ended well for a change...
Shuja khan Sep 17, 2018 03:02pm
Salute to the man for such delight behavior and as a human beings we need to be more understandy to situations like this where our foolishness can lead to someone's life killer!
Saeed ahmed Sep 17, 2018 07:17pm
Thanks for sharing your story. If you were married to a village person, you would have died of pain. Giving pain to their women on first night, they think this is the only way to prove they are men. We must share this as much as we can to let people learn.
Haya Sep 17, 2018 08:56pm
It was such important info that we might not get from someone else ever like. You explained it better than a doctor well. Thanks prolong.......
Haya Sep 17, 2018 09:01pm
Its excellent read , capable many people of diong all the things about sex very clear and easy to go through. People are greatful to you who ever you are....keep it up
white noise Sep 18, 2018 03:46am
@Jamil Soomro, New York City you live in NYC with this mentality? what a sad little bubble you live in. please educate yourself !!!
Abbas Khan Sep 19, 2018 02:25am
@Awais shaikh Well you just said it, didn't you. Secondly, today's kids know more such words that us old timers!
dilawar Sep 20, 2018 12:57pm
Wow! Thank you for sharing this.