15K gynaecs discuss hot topics

15K gynaecs discuss hot topics

They have come from all over India to share ideas about contraception, childbirth procedures, mental illness, and bridging the cultural gap between senior docs and young patients

The 62nd All India Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, a five-day conference, opened at Gayatri Vihar, Palace Grounds, on Tuesday. It is on till January 12.

About 15,000 gynaecologists are in town for the 62nd All India Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The five-day annual conference, hosted by the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India, began on Tuesday. The sessions are being held at Gayatri Vihar in Palace Grounds. Hosts say doctors will deliberate on practical and pragmatic ways forward in the Indian context since the theme this time is ‘Women’s health nation’s wealth’. In an extended chat with Metrolife, the hosts explained some topics coming up for discussion:

About 80 per cent women opt for sterilisation in our country, perhaps because of the age-old belief that contraceptives are bad and have side-effects. New generation contraceptive pills are better and even help with weight loss and acne. They also regularise women’s monthly cycles and reduce heavy bleeding, they say. But whatever the choice of contraception, it should be the woman’s and not that of the spouse or family. Sessions will discuss these questions.

Encouraging sex
The conference features sessions on pills, condoms, intrauterine devices and emergency pills. Some parents accuse doctors of encouraging young girls to have sex by talking to them about contraception. Handling topics such as these should be done in confidentiality. Doctors need to be trained to handle sensitive topics, says Dr Hema Divakar, organising chairperson.

Unsafe abortions
India records 11 lakh abortions a year. And 80 per cent are medical abortions done outside hospitals. Many rape victims or girls have to go to court to seek permission for late abortions. Doctors advocate easier legal procedures.

Rise in C-sections
There is no argument that C-sections in the private sector are on the rise. With the improvement of techniques, material and minimum after-care, many women prefer to go in for natural deliveries. Doctors must counsel them and respect their wishes, says Dr Nanditha Palshetkar. If something happens to the mother or child and there happens to be a court case, the judge always asks doctors why they didn’t propose a C-section. In order to avoid such a situation, doctors act early, says Dr Hema.

Judgemental docs
Anything can be Googled, but not all information out there is authentic. And because of the generation gap, younger women sometimes aren’t comfortable telling older doctors about their problems. They feel judged. Some seniors suffer a culture shock and they react accordingly to their patients. As part of the five-day event, senior-level practitioners will take part in activities to understand changing norms. Young women will throw situations at them, and trigger debates to bridge the gap.

Digital approach
Every session will be aired on social media. This way, those who couldn’t attend the conference can watch them at their convenience. Pre-marital sex, late marriages and live-in relationships will be discussed as part of campaigns, with hashtags such as #whodecides, #parivarthan, #shedecides and #shematters. Girls between 15 and 25 are tech-savvy and both doctors and patients must understand the impact and potential of digital media, hosts say.

Mental health
A woman in her youth faces situations she is not comfortable discussing with her mother or teachers. The stigma of mental illness is slowly fading but not all health care providers are sensitive to it. In government hospitals, staff can’t spend enough time with a patient, since they often attend to 200 patients in two hours. Counselling skills have to be improved, and a collaboration with the psychiatric department is crucial to spot mental illness. Experts feel tackling these hurdles is more challenging than treating mental illness itself.

Robotic surgery and new trends
Robotic surgery is much talked about now. Lifestyles are being scrutinised to make sure they don’t become seeds of future diseases. Embryos are being tested in a non-invasive way. Earlier, doctors needed to draw the fluid from the mother’s stomach to check if all is well with the baby, but now they only need the mother’s blood to learn about the child, the hosts explain.