Dr. Mitali Rathod is a gynecologist. She is a very hardworking doctor who also loves to read books. In short, we can call her someone with both beauty and brain. Dr. Mitali is a self-motivated woman who is a big fan of yoga. All people have ups and downs in their life, but few know to take inspiration from that. Yes, Dr. Mitali is one of them.
Icy Tales is in conversation with Dr. Mitali Rathod on how she creates awareness regarding periods and infertility.
Q) Tell us about your journey toward becoming a doctor. Was gynecology always something you wanted to take up?
Dr. Mitali – Just like every other growing child, earlier I wanted to be a dancer, then a singer, then a model and then I was walking towards my secondary school back then we as a student were fond of only two options, like dr if you are daughter and engineer if you are son. I was raised in a family of doctors; growing up, and I was also looking up to my mother, a gynecologist.
I was always a first bencher and an ambitious student, but I’ve changed my mind multiple times from being an eye specialist at 8th standard to being a gynecologist from my first MBBS. I’ve also studied hard for it, and that paid off. You know the rest. This branch gives me soul satisfaction and happiness in every joy of the world, but that wasn’t the core idea that I had chosen. Eventually, I just landed here.
Q) As many of the videos on your Instagram are related to menstruation. Can you explain the main taboos, and as a doctor, do you still feel women are not very comfortable discussing their problems?
Dr. Mitali – Sometimes, I talk a lot about periods, but the main reason behind starting my Instapage is to create awareness regarding periods. What periods are, and How should they be? It has been portrayed and introduced in a way v/s how it should be.
I love everything about female hormones and periods, and therefore, I love to read new things about them. Whereas the main taboos that I see these days, if a woman is having her periods today, so suddenly she becomes untouchable for the next few days, they cannot enter the temple, or the kitchen, or any idol of the God. That, in my opinion, is disturbing.
We live in 2022, we are blessed with this beautiful body, and we have brilliant physiology as a woman, and still, we are thinking like that. When you start to bleed, you cannot possibly share it with your brother, your father, or any male in your circle. And the worst thing would be that they could see the pad filled with blood.
That’s the regular menstruating sanitary pad. You aren’t the only one who has started bleeding. Periods are nothing different from the physiological process like we pass urine, we poop every single day, we sweat, and we sneeze. Periods are the same thing as that.
Imagine you are a working woman or in a class and attending lectures, and it’s your hectic day. Suddenly you feel a little pain inside your lower abdominal and back. You visit the loo and know that your periods have started. I’m 100% sure; it’s something that many of you might have felt in your routine.
Somehow, you managed to get a pad, but you might feel the pain inside your lower abdomen at the end of the day; you can take your tablet, but your body needs rest. You ask for a leave, and you might hear that it’s a perfect excuse to leave the place early. Just because we are women, we have to suffer in silence. We suffer this death-like situation every single month. Irrespective of social economist class or education of the people, these things are still there.
Q) Lockdown was the most challenging experience for doctors. How did lockdown affect your work, or what are the things you faced during a lockdown?
Dr. Mitali – When the lockdown happened, I worked back then under a government set-up at the civil hospital, Gandhi Nagar. As a Gynecologist, initially, I wasn’t exposed to covid directly. But later on, it was like every faculty had to do everything because as the number of patients increased and the complications were rising, the patient load was unable to manage.
So, I could clearly remember the very first day when I had to go to visit a teenager who was admitted to the covid ward with a positive urine test. Imagine she got news of both covid positive and pregnancy positive. When I entered the covid ward, I was very, very scared. I could barely breathe under the two masks, and the face shield and ranches inside the PPE kit were utterly drenched in sweat, so the situation went to the later part of the first and second waves.
We were performing everything. I’ve delivered numerous patients with covid positive, and I’ve operated on a few who turned out to be positive around delivery time. So, that time was challenging, which is a real sense of sadness, certainty, and helplessness many a time.
Q) Since you help people understand reproductive and menstrual health sustainably, why do you think it is essential, and how did you come up with this idea?
Dr. Mitali – As a woman, they start to bleed at an early age of teens and are lost till the mid-40s to early 50s. So, as women, we go through this. Approximately 5 days in a month and up to 400 cycles in a woman’s lifespan. On the other hand, we are surrounded by stigma, phobia, and so much mess information about everything. So how is it not necessary to talk?
Since the concept of period, we suddenly become untouchable; once I started practicing, I learned that so many things are tolling our physical, mental, and emotional health. When I entered into social media after I did my post-graduation, that time I wasn’t using any social media because my post-graduation was a crazy world.
Social media is like a biedged sward. We have so many beautiful influencers, and they try to influence us differently. With all due respect to all of them, the way period, Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms, and PCOS are portrayed, whatever they have said is far from reality. That’s when I got the idea of starting something from my end to teach something in a simple but effective way.
I started my practice as a consultant allopathic medical doctor. It has put so much emphasis on suppressing symptoms and providing relief, and saving lives. As time passed, I also learned many things about my field.
But if we talk about reproductive problems like period pain, heavy flow, irregular cycles, thyroid condition, difficulties in conceiving, pregnancy nutrition, endometriosis, a cocktail of hormonal imbalances, inflammation, messed up life, and underlying nutritional deficiencies. They do require different approx or sustainable rather than suppressing symptoms.
As doctors, we should emphasize correcting the root cause because we can’t survive and thrive on synthetic hormones like birth control until we plan our pregnancy or reach the main of all. After my post-graduation, I studied further and made a plan to help my patients by providing different kinds of approaches, and this is how my online consultation was born.
Q) Who has been your most considerable support and inspiration in life?
Dr. Mitali – My mother supported me the most from my family. But if you ask me regarding the inspiration, I would like you to give this credit to me. This might sound selfish, but I deserve this credit because I’ve grown up in a very different family with different surroundings.
So, we live so far from an era of equality, feminism, etc. Since childhood, I have faced many physical, emotional, and physiological disturbances. I’m not comfortable sharing it right now, but I might be in the future.
So, I’ve passed through a very stressful childhood and grown certain beliefs, and I’ve to pass through various consequences because of the same. So many, many times, situations messed me up, and I was utterly shattered. So you could say that I was pretty mature even back then.
I’ve seen so many disturbances like a broken marriage, physical assault, trauma, inequality, emotional turbulence, depression, heartbreak, etc. I’ve learned how to hold on to myself and walk further. It’s just me only. I’m the biggest inspiration and most significant support for myself.
Q) Being a doctor, you must have a hectic schedule. What is it that you do in your free time?
Dr. Mitali – I worked for around 15-16 hours per day until the past two months. During my free time, I love to cook healthy meals for myself. Besides that, I’m a massive fan of yoga. I used to do it all the time. Yoga has helped me create a better relationship with myself & better flexibility. It is the most significant component of healing my period’s cramps, self-love, good food, and supplements.
I love reading books, from love stories to self-help books to biographies and nutrition books. I’m creative, or should I say that I was focused on creating this kind of work which is why I’m in a better space.
Q) There are many people facing infertility issues nowadays. Do you think it is because of the changing lifestyle or stress? Could you tell us your views on the same?
Dr. Mitali – Firstly, I don’t like the word ‘infertility’ because that one word creates trauma for the couple who come to visit the doctor. It’s a threat to couples, so “difficulty in conceiving” is better if you ask me. There are many reasons behind the increasing number of couples who face this issue.
Issues like late marriage, advancing age on conception, and poor quality of food like we are surviving population overgrowth nowadays, and we are eating and surviving on produce harvested from nutritionally depleted soil. We are dwelling on junk food and deep-fried food. So, we are bathing in a pool of pollutants and toxic chemicals, fertilizer, and hormonal destructors, and they are like anywhere.
Besides that, we are constantly jumping from one task to another, barely taking time to ourselves to digest and process emotions. Beyond that, we are also running on extremes like killing for one long hour in the gym, and on the other day, we are barely making 5 mins and becoming couch potatoes. We are also surrounded by so many addictions like not only alcohol, cigarettes, or all that stuff, but they are about gadgets and social media.
We are continuously running on one hormone known as “cortisol.” The hormone “cortisol” is itself known as a stress hormone. So for fertility and all the rest and digest processes that happen inside our body, we need to take some time out to switch into a parasympathetic nervous system, i.e., rest and digest the critical consumption system.
Q) Lastly, what are the two experiences as a doctor you want to share with our audience that you would have learned through in life?
Dr. Mitali – I want to share a few essential things that help me become today’s person. In life, you might encounter a few experiences as someone has relentlessly broken your heart, or you have gone through that physical and mental trauma that nobody deserves on this earth.
I think at the end of the day, rather than getting involved in it so much and running away from it like I have heard people saying, young girls are specifically forced to believe they are destined for this, and because of this happened, I’ve become like this” because of my traumatic childhood” we hear this so often.
I wanted to tell them that do not to let traumatic experiences of your life drive the rest of their lives forever, and I also want to tell all the beautiful women and young girls out there that stop comparing their bodies and emotions with the man.
You are blessed with different physiology and beautiful sets of hormones that rise and fall beautifully every single day without letting you know. So honor it, do not feel ashamed of it, and do not let your hormones unpleasantly drive you. It’s not your parents, boyfriend, or your husband’s duty. Still, you must take care of yourself, your body, periods, fertility, pregnancy, finance, strength, equality, and freedom, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise.
Dr. Mitali Rathod wishes that more people know that she is not running on a money-making model. The doctor’s consult is run on pure honesty, free will, proper communication, and explanation to every question even though patients think they have stupid and lame questions to ask. Dr. Mitali also provides WhatsApp assistance so that her patients are always satisfied.
Dr. Mitali also thinks that people are losing trust in doctors over the last decade. This is just her perspective because few patients, people, or circumstances, have made a vision, but she firmly believes that judging everyone from the same glasses is wrong. She believes patients should give themselves space, ask questions, and understand because, as a patient, they are consumers.
Dr. Mitali speaks on behalf of all the doctors and believes that patients need to give them space rather than being judgmental and thinking that every doctor is the same and that doctors are running behind money, always providing lousy treatment, and looting us. She wishes that more people would know about this because these kinds of incidents are happening around us these days.