AICOG 2023: Experts call to ‘Preserve the Uterus’ & discuss better alternatives to hysterectomies

New Delhi, Jan 7 (FN Agency) The nationwide ‘Preserve the Uterus’ campaign was launched in April 2022 to raise awareness amongst healthcare practitioners about alternative methods to manage uterine conditions that cause heavy menstrual bleeding, so that a hysterectomy becomes the very last option to treat such conditions. At this year’s All India Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (AICOG), a panel discussion was held to discuss unnecessary hysterectomies and their prevention and impact on women’s health. Renowned experts such as Dr Hrishikesh Pai, Dr Madhuri Patel, Dr Alka Pandey, Dr Rakhi Singh, Dr Prerna Keshan along with Mr Manoj Saxena, Managing Director – Bayer Zydus Pharma participated in the panel discussion which was moderated by Dr Kalyan Barmade.

The purpose of this panel was to familiarize AICOG participants with the ‘Preserve the Uterus’ campaign and to continue the dialogue to prevent unnecessary hysterectomies in India. Speaking about the event, doctors said, “Our objective at AICOG is to highlight the most prevalent gynaecological and obstetric diseases of women in India for which hysterectomy is recommended and discuss modern methods of management. For many years now, the number of hysterectomies has been higher in India as compared to global trends. The median age for the procedure in India is 34 years, much below the global average and this is a cause of concern. At AICOG, we are glad to focus on this issue through the ‘Preserve the Uterus’ initiative and tackle the problem of unnecessary hysterectomies.” The ‘Preserve the Uterus’ campaign is being implemented by the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) and the Integrated Health & Wellbeing (IHW) Council, in partnership with global pharmaceutical major, Bayer. It involves educational initiatives, sensitization, and up-skilling workshops for medical practitioners across the country to drive awareness about the negative impact of unnecessary hysterectomies and on modern methods of management of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding. The campaign also aims to create a favourable policy environment to address this issue.

Partnerships and dialogues are being undertaken with various state governments and their health authorities to address the issue in states where the prevalence is known to be high. Commenting on the panel conversation at AICOG 2023, Manoj Saxena, Managing Director, Bayer Zydus Pharma said, “We are happy to be given this opportunity to present our campaign, ‘Preserve the Uterus’ at the prestigious AICOG. We have already reached 5000+ practitioners through this campaign where we continue to raise awareness about gynaecological diseases such as heavy menstrual bleeding and modern methods of management. This event at AICOG will help us reach a wider network of healthcare practitioners across the country so that a hysterectomy becomes the last resort for the majority of medical practitioners to manage heavy menstrual bleeding.” Hysterectomy at a younger age is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and osteoporosis and also affects the mental health of women. In India, it is observed that hysterectomies are recommended for conditions that can be managed conservatively as a permanent solution for menstrual problems. Other reasons for unnecessary hysterectomies include failure of appropriate gynaecological care, inappropriate use of insurance, practical difficulties of living with menstrual problems and lack of employment opportunities for menstruating women. Renowned experts such as Dr Hrishikesh Pai, Dr Madhuri Patel, Dr Bhaskar Pal, Dr Basab Mukherjee, and Dr Dibyendu Banerjee participated in the panel discussion which had national convenors Dr Rachna Dubey, Dr Meena, Dr Indrani Roy, Dr Shehla Jamal.

The purpose of this panel was to familiarize AICOG participants with the ‘Save the Girl Child’ campaign and to continue the dialogue to prevent the unnecessary death of children just for being female. The session aims to consider a girl child equal to a male child and also provide equal and basic rights to women who are rejected by them. They should be given good food, proper education, also a good environment. The purpose of the program is to save girls from social unfairness and sick practices such as abortion and to give a push to the education of girls throughout the country.