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Social Stigmas Connected To Gynaecological Diseases

By Dr. Ragini Agrawal

Gynaecological diseases per se are not discussed openly and they are kept in the closet. With changing society and women empowerment things are changing, at least problems of women are being written in magazines. With the advent of internet it has become more open and discussed on various platforms. But as far as woman is concerned, she is still shy to come out in open as lots of stigma and social pressure is attached to her problem.

  1. Menstrual problem – Word menstruation itself is a hush hush thing. If women are having premenstrual syndrome then they will cover it under some other disease. Menarche or Menopause both are a silent change and many time there are associated problems like mood swings, pain or forgetfulness.
  2. Leakage of urine on coughing and sneezing or laughing – If you ask me then this problem tops the list. More than half of middle-aged women have this problem but they do not dare to talk about it. Mostly they tend to become socially inactive and start living in a shell, but rarely discuss it with even family members.
  3. Childlessness – Nothing is more unfortunate and cursed than unable to reproduce after marriage for a woman. In orthodox families, a childless woman is considered even inauspicious. She is even abandoned by the in laws sometimes if infertility treatment fails.
  4. Obesity – Although obesity is a burden in the sense it gives rise to many diseases, an obese girl is ridiculed due to her body image which leads to even psychiatric disorders sometimes. She is unwelcome person in marriage market. Even after marriage, obesity gives rise to various types of marital discord even divorce. PCOD is a now days a common gynaecological disease which causes growth of facial hair, acne, hair fall and obesity. It can affect women at any age from adolescence to menopausal ages. At young age it is the cause of negative body image leading to depression. In young age, it is one of the leading reasons of infertility.
  5. Postmenopausal bleeding- Usually this problem is not discussed by the sufferer till the bleeding becomes heavy. Older women many times, at this time are dependent on children and not able to discuss such a personal thing with them. They do not realize it may be the first sign of cancer of the reproductive area. And by the time it becomes known already it is too late.
  6. Cancers – Cancer itself carries a lot of stigma in society. Although it is not an infectious disease, still the misconception that it is infectious is found in the society.

Most of diseases of women are wrapped in various types of stigma. Women herself does not want to come out in open but time is changing.

Dr. Ragini Agrawal
Dr. Ragini Agrawal

About Dr. Ragini Agrawal: Dr. Ragini Agrawal, Gynaecologist and Clinical Director of W-Hospital by Pratiksha, Gurgaon.

About Gayatri T Rao

A double post-graduate (MSc. - Botany and MA - English Literature) Gayatri T Rao is a Senior Freelance Journalist with vast experience in writing on varied topics.

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