Changemaker: Dr. Cuterus

Millennial doctor and sexual wellness advocate Dr. Cuterus is on a mission to demystify sex and reproductive health through her inclusive, informative, and humorous digital content. In turn, she's empowering a generation of young viewers.

By URLife Team
11 Jul 2021

Dr Tanaya Narendra, popular on social media as Dr. Cuterus has a knack for talking about otherwise boring and sometimes embarrassing subjects by making the conversion fun and informative. It is hard not to scroll down her Instagram feed; she talks about periods, penis fractures and when to do a pregnancy test after unprotected sex with equal abandon. More on her below.


What is the story behind the name Dr. Cuterus?

I thoroughly believe that the uterus is the most important organ in our body. Without the uterus, we wouldn’t be here. There’s a lot of emphasis that’s given to neurosurgeons and cardiologists. We just don’t give enough importance to the uterus and people who specialise and work related to the uterus. Everybody who is walking on the face of the earth, every single human being has come out from the uterus. So, I think the uterus is a wonderful organ; it’s our first home. And I think it deserves that credit and it deserved that honor. So cute plus uterus is Dr. Cuterus.


How did you start your page?

I had gone to the UK to do a Master’s program and over there I started using a menstrual cup. I enjoyed it, and got it back for a lot of people who wanted it. And I would always have to explain how to use a menstrual cup and what it does. Both my parents are doctors, we had lots of models of uteruses lying about the house. I picked up one of the models and I was like why don’t I use this to explain how a menstrual cup works.

I made a series of stories that I just randomly posted on my private Instagram account and people seemed to really like it. Some said I should make this public. And while I was growing up, especially when I was in medical school, I had this idea that I will one day grow up to have my own medical education channel on YouTube because I did a lot of my education on YouTube. A lot of things that I don’t understand even to this day, the complicated medical things, I look to YouTube because there’s a lot of medical teachers on it. And this is exactly what I thought I would do. So, I made a public account and I started posting about this.

But unfortunately, I couldn’t dedicate a lot of time because at that time I was still shuttling between India and the UK. So, I did maybe 10-15 posts in the entire year and then last year in January 2020, I was there at a conference and I was sort of live-covered the conference. It was an obstetrics/gynecology conference and from there on I became very strict about posting regularly and putting out some information out there. And I’ve been active for one year but technically the account is two years old.



Where do you find inspiration?

I’m genuinely inspired by the fact that this kind of stuff makes a difference. You know when I started doing this, I was only doing it because I felt like there wasn’t enough information on it. But then as my channel grew I realised what an impact it has had on people and people genuinely found this useful. And that was a very enriching experience for me. I think it comes from the fact that people are finding the answers that they didn’t find before. I would happily do it every day for the rest of my life.

I will take breaks because you know between work and studies it gets a little bit hectic. It is very gratifying that feeling when somebody understands how say a menstrual cup works or how their vulva works or how childbirth happens or how conception happens and that feeling; it’s just irreplaceable. So, I think that’s where the inspiration comes from.



Do you come across criticism over discussing ‘taboo’ topics?

While I am one of the few people on social media who are licensed and qualified to offer the kind of sex education that we do, there is also the fact that because of that I believe people think it’s lowly of me to be talking about these things. It’s not considered very nice. A lot of people don’t appreciate that, I get a lot of trolling, a lot of hate messages. But I think unfortunately that’s a part of being a person on the internet, particularly a woman on the internet. And on top of that, a woman of the internet who talks about sex. I think that is something that would inconsequentially happen to me. I’m not saying that’s right but it’s very much a part and parcel of being a vocal person on the internet. So, yes there is a lot of trolling but you develop a thick skin to it over some time.


How do you deal with unsolicited messages and interactions on your page?

So, dealing with unsolicited messages, pictures, comments, all of those things has become very very easy on social media now because I frequently and very freely use the block, report, and restrict features. I don’t engage with such people. Earlier I genuinely wanted to engage with these people and figure out why they think this way and change their minds on it. But I understand my bandwidth is limited and some people generally do this for trolling. So, I think over time you start to realise who’s doing this for trolling and who’s doing it because they disagree and they do want to engage in a positive dialogue and put forth their views in a positive manner. So, you develop a sort of a radar almost and if my radar doesn’t sense that this person is engaging in a productive conversation, I just restrict, block and delete and that works very well.



What exciting medical advancements can 30-somethings look forward to?

There’s a lot that’s happening. There are things like neural link where people are using implantable devices to stimulate movement in people who have some kind of a disability for example paraplegia, quadriplegia. I work in the fertility field, IVF (In-vitro Fertilisation) itself is a consequence of the technological boom we’ve experienced in the past 50 years or so. IVF was developed—it’s a process that was developed to help people who are not able to conceive to have a child. I think that’s wonderful, you know, LGBT families are being able to have children now with their own gametes often. So, it has been a very lovely couple of years and I see that it’s going to go even bigger and I’m very excited to see what happens in the future.

What drives your passion for public health?

I would like to say that my job on the internet is to put the fun in fundamental sex education. And, I genuinely enjoy talking about our bodies and sharing more information and learning more about it. This is something I do even on my downtime, you can find me watching videos on, body-related stuff. I’m a doctor and that’s my primary work. Although my work is sort of centered around medicine, all of my interests also have something or the other to do with medicine in one way or the other.

When I lived in a developed country for a while, I saw the impact of preventive health care and how it can reduce future issues and it can reduce the global burden of healthcare costs and it can make a massive impact on people’s quality of life. I think that’s where my drive for public health comes from. I do believe that the foundation of a good healthcare system is based on preventive health care and education. And that’s probably what is my biggest drive. I genuinely envision that there are people like this that can change the world who talk about education, doctors who educate people about their bodies in every way, cardiology, urology or gynecology. I feel like these are the people that have the power to change the world and I hope someday we will! Fingers crossed.




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