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Author Desai, Sapna
Source World Health Organization (WHO)-Global Index Medicus
Content type Text
Publisher Elsevier
File Format HTM / HTML
Language English
Difficulty Level Medium
Subject Domain (in DDC) Philosophy & psychology ♦ Psychology ♦ Social sciences ♦ Sociology & anthropology ♦ Social groups ♦ Social problems & services; associations ♦ Social welfare problems & services ♦ Natural sciences & mathematics ♦ Life sciences; biology ♦ Natural history of organisms ♦ Technology ♦ Medicine & health ♦ Incidence & prevention of disease ♦ Diseases ♦ Surgery & related medical specialties ♦ Management & auxiliary services ♦ General management
Subject Domain (in MeSH) Eukaryota ♦ Organisms ♦ Surgical Procedures, Operative ♦ Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment ♦ Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms ♦ Psychiatry and Psychology ♦ Natural Science Disciplines ♦ Physical Sciences ♦ Social Sciences ♦ Anthropology, Education, Sociology and Social Phenomena ♦ Persons ♦ Persons ♦ Population Characteristics ♦ Health Care Facilities, Manpower, and Services ♦ Health Services Administration ♦ Health Care ♦ Geographic Locations ♦ Geographic Locations
Subject Keyword Discipline Medicine ♦ Gynecologic Surgical Procedures ♦ Standards ♦ Hysterectomy ♦ Psychology ♦ Primary Prevention ♦ Methods ♦ Adult ♦ Family ♦ Female ♦ Statistics & Numerical Data ♦ Health Services Accessibility ♦ Humans ♦ India ♦ Middle Aged ♦ Poverty ♦ Qualitative Research ♦ Rural Population ♦ Journal Article
Abstract Hysterectomy appears to be on the rise amongst low-income, rural women in India as routine treatment for gynaecological ailments. This paper explores the individual, household, socio-economic and health system factors that influenced women's decisions to undergo hysterectomy in rural Gujarat, with a focus on women's perspectives. Interviews were conducted with 35 rural, low-income women who had undergone hysterectomy, local gynaecologists and other key informants, alongside observation of daily life and health-related activities. Inductive, open coding was conducted within a framework analysis to identify thematic influences on the decision to undergo hysterectomy. Women underwent hysterectomy at an average age of 36, as treatment for typically severe gynaecological ailments. I argue that women, faced with embedded social inequality in the form of gender biases, lack of labour security and a maternal-centric health system, demonstrated pragmatic agency in their decision to remove the uterus. When they experienced gynaecological ailments, most sought two to three opinions and negotiated financial and logistical concerns. The health system offered few non-invasive services for non-maternal health issues. Moreover, women and health care providers believed there is limited utility of the uterus beyond childbearing. Women's responsibilities as caretakers, workers and producers drove them to seek permanent solutions that would secure their long-term work and health security. Thus, hysterectomy emerged as a normalised treatment for gynaecological ailments, particularly for low-income women with limited resources or awareness of potential side effects. In this setting, hysterectomy reflects the power structures and social inequalities in which women negotiated medical treatment--and the need to reverse a culture of permanent solutions for low-income women.
Spatial Coverage India
Description Author Affiliation: Desai S ( SEWA Health Cooperative, Ellis Bridge, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380006, India. Electronic address:
ISSN 02779536
Educational Role Student ♦ Teacher
Age Range above 22 year
Educational Use Reading ♦ Research ♦ Self Learning
Interactivity Type Expositive
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2016-02-01
Publisher Place Great Britain (UK)
e-ISSN 18735347
Journal Social Science & Medicine
Volume Number 151

Source: WHO-Global Index Medicus