Photo: Eric Déroze

“Medicine doesn’t address the emotional aspect of the process”

Pascale de Senarclens is the director of the Geneva association Bloom and Boom, which works to support women’s emancipation.

Geneva resident Pascale de Senarclens* speaks about her personal experiences and conferences on the desire to have children led by her association.

“It was my partner at the time who really wanted a child. I realise now that he wanted one more than I did. In some ways, it was when I found out that I was infertile that I wanted to have a child. It quickly became a problem. It was a source of frustration for me. I felt like I couldn’t fulfil my role as a woman. I felt disabled—like I was no longer a woman. It was really hard to be constantly surrounded by something that I didn’t actually want.” She saw a specialist for the first time in 2013. The young woman received treatment after treatment over the course of one year. “It was a complex emotional process of loneliness, misunderstanding and suffering that medicine didn’t relieve in the slightest.”

In response, the couple decided to let it go and stopped all treatment. “It was an unusual choice, and I attribute it to the fact that I wasn’t very excited about having a child—which is the exact opposite of most women. Having children is so central that they’re ready to do
anything and everything. If a woman chooses to stop treatment, she does so after suffering a lot, spending huge amounts of money and experiencing isolation or even depression. Through my association, I’ve organised many women’s groups on this topic. The participants often speak about the inappropriate attitudes of their doctors. By that I mean a lack of empathy and a cold approach that makes women feel like they’re cars that have been taken into the shop. It’s a form of emotional mistreatment that almost all women experience, and it disgusts me.”