After an interesting and busy week spent at Arab Health
in Dubai, we returned to the office with lots of news. We had spoken to people from all over the world, however one fact really stuck out for us:
More than 15000 hysterectomies a day are performed in India.
As pelvic floor experts, we were floored by this figure, because of the amount of women now suffering incontinence
and other problems due to this extremely high level of hysterectomy
Upon our return to the office, we read an article on the BBC talking about the same issue. It seems as though women are routinely given hysterectomy as part of routine treatment for heavy periods, period pain, stress incontinence
and even back pain.
One of the people we spoke to at Arab Health said that in her community, it was extremely rare for women over 45 to have a uterus. In the BBC article on the same topic, the researcher said that village leaders in one village estimate 90% of the village women to have had the operation -many of which are between 20 and 30 years old.
In India, doctors charge around $200 for a hysterectomy, which for many families is more than their life savings, so many have been forced to sell their possessions to pay for this 'vital' operation when in fact so many women could have been treated for their conditions with simple pelvic floor exercise
, but in fact, hysterectomy in India is at epidemic proportions.
In some parts of India, hysterectomy is standard treatment for stress incontinence, when this can be so easily treated with Kegel exercise
. It is suggested that in some areas of India, hysterectomy is carried out without trying other less invasive treatment methods first.
In the UK, hysterectomy is only usually performed when all other treatment options have been exhausted. Even in cases of cancer, doctors will try to treat the problem first with chemotherapy and radiotherapy before resorting to hysterectomy.
Before and after hysterectomy, Kegel exercise is a vital part of the preparation and recovery process. Because an organ has been removed, your other organs can move into the space that has been created. If your pelvic floor is very weak, this can lead to pelvic organ prolapse, so it's very important before and after hysterectomy to strengthen the pelvic floor with pelvic floor exercise.
We're advocates for women's health, so let's help to spread the Kegel8 word and help women all around the world.