Holy Hormones Journal: I guess men in India – have not heard of vasectomies. What is going on in India in the name of forced population control is just amazing. The situation really captures the inequality of reproductive health. What a crazy couple of weeks – women escaping from bondage, Angelina Jolie cutting off her breasts, women in India unethically having their uteri and ovaries removed… are you beginning to see the big picture here? Women are losing their status by leaps and bounds.
One State in India Stands Out for Early Menopause
Andhra Pradesh is the fifth most populous state in the country. The female literacy rate of 50 percent, according to the 2001 Census, is lower than the national average of 54 percent. Although its fertility rate (1.8) is lower than the national average of 2.4, the state is aiming to lower it even further to 1.5, according to health department reports.
By Swapna Majumdar
Friday, May 17, 2013
With female sterilizations pushed as the primary mode of fertility control in Andhra Pradesh, post-operative complications have caused women to undergo needless hysterectomies and endure side effects they never expected.
NEW DELHI (WOMENSENEWS)–When Srujana Sundar went to the doctor complaining of abdominal pain and white vaginal discharge her doctor, instead of treating these routine gynecological complaints, ordered her to undergo a hysterectomy.
In her case that meant not only losing her uterus, which is standard in all such operations, but also her ovaries.
Sundar, a housewife in the village of Parsapally, in the Medak district of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh,was 29 at the time.
She soon discovered that after losing her ovaries she was contending with the effects of early menopause.
“Removal of ovaries is the biological equivalent of castration and results in the immediate and sudden onset of menopause, in contrast to natural menopause which is a gradual process,” said Dr. S.V. Kameswari, a leading gynecologist in Andhra Pradesh, in a recent phone interview.
Women with premature menopause can suffer a steep loss of estrogen, which causes hormonal imbalances and increases the risks of depression, heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension and breast cancer.
Kameswari is also the director of the health services unit of a Hyderabad-based nongovernmental organization called Life-Health Reinforcement Group, which studied 171 women who had undergone a hysterectomy from a cluster of villages in one block of Medak district. Sundar was one of the participants.
Their 2011 study found that the average age of the women who had opted for a hysterectomy was 28.
In general, most Indian women stop menstruating and enter menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, according to Kameswari’s study.
The proportion of women aged 30-49 who are menopausal in Andhra Pradesh is 31 percent, far above the national average of around 18 percent and the highest in India, according to the second National Family Health Survey, a government health survey published in 1998-1999.