Hysterectomy cases rise in India in the last few years
An increase in hysterectomy cases is raising some questions.
Eleven out of hundred women have undergone hysterectomy as a permanent solution for vaginal problems, leading to more health issues, says BMC Women’s Health .
A survey by The International Institute for Population Science, in 2020 found that women are not informed about the long-term consequences of hysterectomy.
Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure for uterus removal. It is the second most frequently performed surgery on women. Women see hysterectomy as a common treatment for gynaecological disorders . Research conducted by BMC Women’s Health showed that among 3,16,314 married women, one third had undergone hysterectomy before the age of 40 years and the numbers are increasing.
Dr Dhaval Patel (gynecologist) said, “Women prefer hysterectomy over treatment for their vaginal problems such as, menstrual problems, cysts, fibroids or fluid discharge over medication as it is difficult to complete full medical treatment after a certain age. This is very much prevalent in rural areas compared to urban areas.” He added that he doesn’t recommend hysterectomy if it is not necessary but, if the patient is demanding then they perform hysterectomy.
The first ever survey conducted on hysterectomy was in 2015-2016 by The National Family Health Survey Data. This research showed that before 1997, only 43 percent of hysterectomy surgeries were performed but by the end of 2016 the number rose upto 74 percent. There is very limited data available on uterus removal surgery performed on women prior to 2015.
Nita Bhadaniya says that “I chose hysterectomy because I was facing an infection issue. Doctor did not recommend it but I chose it. After surgery the problem of infection was resolved but back pain has started. I was not aware of any such complications when I went for surgery. Doctor never informed me of post surgery complications.”
The International Institute for Population Science survey found that after the surgery women can suffer from many musculoskeletal disorders like back pain, muscle pain, joint pain, significant weight gain. Many studies have also found an association between hysterectomy and an increased risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease and even depression.
Dr Nakum HOD and Associate Professor of Bhavnagar Medical college said that hysterectomy is much more prevalent in rural areas in comparison to urban areas. Women are not aware about the effects of post-surgery. There is a system of counselling in government hospitals but there is no such facility available in private hospitals.
In rural areas it is sometimes treated as part of family planning as women are not aware of any other alternative. They are sometimes very stubborn that if we deny to perform hysterectomy then they go to another surgeon, who is not very much equipped with the female body. There should be some law to monitor and regulate private hospitals on uterus removal surgery, Dr. Nakum said.
Keywords: Hysterectomy, surgery, numbers, rural area, complication.