*Shreya, 27, from Bangalore, told her story to our LM writer Arpit Chikkara.
Planning for future
During my time in college I had a boyfriend and was sexually active but my parents did not know about it. After that, I began working and joined Tinder to meet new guys for short-term relationships. While I was enjoying my life and building my career, my parents found a guy for me to get married.
I was 26, he was 27 and it was an okay time for me to move in the direction of taking responsibility for family life. Our first meeting was set and soon after we began to talk. I found him quite suitable as a long-term partner. Getting married is something that one has to carefully plan before saying yes. *Vishesh and I met a few more times but before I could finalise my decision about getting married, both of us took some time to think.
Thinking about kids
One evening after dinner, I and my brother were walking together in the park and discussing my future husband. 'You better consider yourself getting checked for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) before you get married', he said.
Despite being younger to me by two years, he had raised a point that I had not thought of until that day. The right partner, the best fitting lehenga and the perfect honeymoon destination are not the only things that marriage has. Marriage is also about sexual health and baby planning.
I met Vishesh the next day and told him about my past sex life. He also told me about his and both of us were accepting of each other's’ past. When he asked me why I was asking such in-depth questions, I told him that we should get checked for STDs before getting married. He said he would book an appointment with a doctor and we would do so.
Then we discussed having kids in the future. We wanted to have a child at some point in the future but not anytime soon post marriage. So we decided to get our fertility tests also done so that we could know in advance whether we were fit or not to have a kid in the future. After that meeting, we came even closer to each other and I was really happy with my decision to get married to Vishesh.
Next week we went to the doctor and our medical examinations were done. Blood, urine, semen samples were collected and went to the laboratory. Our genitals were physically examined for cold sores. The doctor inquired us about using contraception during our past sexual activities and any history of fluid discharge from private parts.
After all this check, it was my turn to get my intrauterine ultrasound done. The doctor asked me to come again for giving blood and urine samples while I was on periods. Two weeks later, the reports came.
Vishesh and I had our fingers crossed. We had no STDs and both of us were fertile and reproductively healthy. His sperm count and motility rate were good and I too was free from womb affecting diseases with my uterus fit enough to bear a child. The doctor appreciated this decision of ours and told us about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and wished us luck for marriage.
After three months we got married and with such an understanding partner by my side, I am happy that I chose Vishesh as my husband.
*To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person/s in the picture is/are models.
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About the author: Arpit Chhikara loves to read, write, draw and take long walks while listening to podcasts. Besides writing on various themes related to SRHR, he also works in the alternative education domain. When not at home, you can find him living in lesser-known places in India. You can check him on Instagram.