Women’s groups and fertility experts campaign to reduce prevalence of hysterectomy in India

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 17 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7551
  1. Mohuya Chaudhuri
  1. 1New Delhi

In October 2011 30 of the 1142 women in Panthangi village in the Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh in south India had hysterectomies done. All 30 were in their late 20s. This trend of a rising number of surgical removals of the uterus in young women is happening across India, in economically high and low performing states.

The trend has led to an increasing number of women’s groups, non-governmental organisations, and experts questioning the need for the intervention, which they claim its driven more by commercial gain than medical necessity.

In Andhra Pradesh, where the rate of hysterectomies is very high, a study conducted by the non-governmental organisation the Life Health Reinforcement Group found that the median age of women undergoing the procedure was 29 years, globally among the lowest.

In Gujarat, too, a study done by the Self Employed Women’s Association, an organisation working with rural women, also found that a high number of women who had hysterectomies were below 35 years old. Several other states have begun to report the same pattern.

In …

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