Interview 39

Age at interview: 20
Brief Outline: As a patient she knows that she has a right to confidentiality. (Played by an actor)
Background: Bangladeshi woman who lives on her own. She left home at the age of fifteen and was in the care of social services. At the time of the interview she was a full-time student. (Played by an actor)

More about me...

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Indicates that attitudes of parents are changing in many respects except when it comes to sex...

Back in the days, young Asian girls will be getting married at a very young age, approximately 16. Now you get girls that are getting married after their degree which is 23, 24, so it's all changing. 

People like it when a young Asian girl's got a degree in her hand, and they think they're a bit more powerful, a bit more independent you know, I've done it for myself.

In that way parents are being really open-minded about it and being really supportive towards their kids education wise, marriage wise, with everything nowadays I think.  

It is all changing but the big issue here is about sex. Can't really do much change about that so...  I don't know, it will probably come into it soon, say another couple of years, wait for us to become mothers, we will change that.

Explains her attitude towards nosey receptionists and says that she knows her rights. (Actor)

(The accompanying video and audio clips are played by an actor)

Have you ever experienced any difficulty using your GP or any of the other services for sexual health?

No, I haven't you know. You know they usually ask you at the counter 'what is it for?' I just basically, I'm a very strong-minded person me yeah, I just tell 'em 'mind your own business'.  

If I have some business to tell you, I'll tell you. I don't need to tell you I'm here to get a Depo injection done or I am here to get a pregnancy test done.  If I am asking you that I wanna see a nurse its because there's an issue around it, like I need to see a nurse.  Obviously I'm not gonna be stupid and go and see a nurse because I've got tonsillitis now am I?', and they just try and ask you to find out, it's always the Asian ones. 

Its like 'can I ask you why you wanna see the nurse?' and I just think is it any of your business? I know my rights at the end of the day'

I know my rights because my GP explained the procedure to me.  'You don't have to tell anyone at the reception what you're here to see a nurse for' , so if I wanted to get a pregnancy test done 'what are you here to see the nurse for?' its my own business. 

I don't wanna discuss it over the counter where there's like ten other staff and God knows how many patients behind me.  'I don't need to tell you', I know my rights.  It doesn't bother me.  But now when I go to get my Depo done I just say 'My Depo.'  I am gonna be 21.

So it was good of the doctor to explain it to you?

So I was like hey, great, and she said to me 'No matter how close they are with your family, confidentiality is a big thing which we have to be discreet about at all times because if you're not you can lose your job".

Explains how her attitude changed regarding her fears to be seen by members of her community when...

(The accompanying video and audio clips are played by an actor)

The first time when I went to see a nurse I remember I was kind of like really paranoid like you know oh my gosh what if my parents walk in. They started asking me questions like 'Why are you here to see a nurse?' you know what am I going to come out with and everything.

Then gradually that just went down because I thought to myself I shouldn't really care what other people say because at the end of the day I am a young person. If I need to seek advice, I need to go to someone professional. I can't just go and ask someone on the street, 'Oh yeah you know I've had unprotected sex, what do I do now?'  

So eventually I grew out of it like when I was say about 18 I thought, I'm a young adult now, no one can say anything to me, you know 'You shouldn't be doing this,' you know 'its wrong for you'. But my parents never really said nothing, although they don't know I'm being intimate with my partner, I think if they were to know they wouldn't really like, be understanding about it, they will just think sex before marriage is like so wrong. 

Do you know what I mean, but I know I can't help it, the way I feel with my partner is lovely. And they wouldn't understand the fact that I've only just been with one guy for such a long time, its not like I'm going around sleeping with different guys, but I know my parents still wouldn't understand that part. They would just think sex before marriage is like so wrong - like completely.

Describes how she realised she needed a more reliable method of contraception and discusses the role of her...

(The accompanying video and audio clips are played by an actor)


You were sort of not using condoms or anything?


No I wasn't. I just had unprotected sex every now and again but it was with the same guy because I was still with him, but then we got a bit worried and I'm thinking oh no, what if I fall pregnant, what am I gonna do then. So that's when I went to the doctor and said 'Look seriously I need something.'  


Because I kept on going for the morning after pill. Most of the time I went for the morning after pill and they'd say "the morning after pill's not really good, you're not supposed to really take it more than three times in a year", and I did take it more than three times in a year, you know what I mean' Yeah seriously, I did.


That's when they said to me you know 'You seriously need to think about long term, contraception'. So then yeah that's when Depo came in to it.  


Because like my GP, I've known her for a long time and she's been my childhood GP, she knew when I left home and everything so she knew she has to be there as an extra support for me as well to explain everything to me.


And then obviously you go to see the nurse for contraception and things like that, so she transferred me to a nurse who explained all the procedure to me.  


So like if I had a problem the first person I would go and see would be my GP because I can really, really trust her, she's like a friend to me, someone I can really openly talk to, so that's nice.

Explains that she thought there was something wrong with her because her periods were different...

(The accompanying video and audio clips are played by an actor)

How did you feel about starting your periods?

Well for me I was a bit scared right, but then from hearing from my friends' experiences their periods used to last up to seven days and my period only lasted for three. So I thought that was a bit weird at first so I didn't talk to my mum about it. 

I asked the doctors, you know 'getting periods for three days, is that really bad?' and she said 'No, its normal, at the end of the day better for you, you're not bleeding for seven days are you, so they're complaining and you're not.'  So I went 'all right then.'

I feel better without periods. But I was never moody, you know, you get like mood swings and some go a bit chocoholic, they have to have chocolate. I was never like that, I was normal do you get me, I never had mood swings, I never had cravings like chocolate or anything. 

I was just like normal so they used to be jealous you know 'oh you are such a bitch, you don't get cramps,' you don't get this, you don't get that. I did at times, I used to get just little cramps.
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