SRIKAKULAM: A large number of rural women, particularly in Andhra-Odisha border villages and in coastal areas of Ichchapuram mandal, have their uteruses removed by undergoing hysterectomy. Curiously, majority of them underwent hysterectomy even for minor complaints such as excess bleeding during menstruation, white discharge and infections.
Some middle-aged women too got their uteruses removed for no major reason but to escape from menstruation. Greedy private nursing homes are to blame for this trend. There are many instances of even young mothers in these border villages having their uterus removed. Gynaecologists warn that the early removal of uterus leads to hormonal imbalance and consequent health complications.
Underlining the alarming situation, about 40 per cent of married women have got their uteruses removed at Loddaputti village in Ichchapuram Mandal. The similar practice prevails at Bellupada, Rattakanna, Telukunchi and some parts of Ichchapuram town, Purusottapuram, AS Peta, Kedaripuram and the coastal villages like Donkuru. Some Odisha villages adjacent to the Andhra border like Ramayyapatnam, K Suvani, R Suvani, etc are no exception to this rule.
“I am just 23-year-old and have two children. When I approached a doctor at Ichchapruam after suffering excess bleeding last year, he suggested removal of my uterus. After the operation, I have been suffering from backache and other health complications,” said a woman from Bellupada. “I have observed that about 40 per cent of the women got their uterus removed in many villages in Ichchapuram mandal and adjacent Odisha villages at various hospitals,” said a private nursing home doctor on condition of anonymity. Taking advantage of their illiteracy and ignorance, some private nursing homes are encouraging women to get their uteruses removed without offering other solutions.
“A woman, living opposite my house, approached me seeking the removal of uterus and I suggested that she consult a gynaecologist,” said Dr Sreenivas, Ichchapuram CHC medical officer. According to him, there was a time there was no gynaecologists either in government or private hospitals in Ichchapuram area. As a result, general practitioners used to do hysterectomy for all problems without providing treatment for any gynaecology issues. Compared to previous years, the number of women undergoing hysterectomy has dropped after a few gynaecologists have set up nursing homes in the area now. Dr Sreenivas said the gynaecology services are also made available in the government hospital.
Removal of uterus for minor reasons leads to many complications, said Dr Aravind, a senior gynaecologist at RIMS. He said that hysterectomy should be resorted to only if the patient is suffering from cervical carcinoma, uterine fibroid and other cancerous diseases. Most of the hysterectomy cases are coming to RIMS with the complaints of backache and other problems daily, he said. As the hysterectomy is a major surgery, it should be conducted by qualified gynaecologists.
Taking advantage of their illiteracy and ignorance, some private nursing homes are encouraging rural women to get their uteruses removed without offering other solutions for gynaecological problems. About 40 per cent of married women have got their uteruses removed at Loddaputti village in Ichchapuram mandal. Similar ill-advised practice prevails in Ichcha-puram town and other coastal villages of Srikakulam district.