The Hidden Dangers of Hysterectomies, Women’s Access to Sexual Healthcare, and More With Dr. Sapna Desai

Jun 5, 2023


In this episode, public health specialist Dr. Sapna Desai discusses why adolescent girls avoid seeking care for sexual health issues, the curious case of early hysterectomies in India, and why we need to broaden our understanding of women’s reproductive health.

‘In Perspective’ is The Swaddle’s podcast series where academics reveal little-known facts about Indian history, society and culture. 


00:00:58:22- How has women’s health policy in India addressed women’s health? What issues have been highlighted and which deserve greater attention? And what are emerging priority areas to think about?

00:05:36:19- Why do you think we’ve ignored incidences of non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular diseases? Why is there a perception that these are diseases of privileged women, or women from the West? 

00:08:45:14- What are the main challenges with Indian women’s access to treatment of sexual and reproductive health problems? And what about adolescents and young women? 

00:11:40:19- Is the misrecognition of women’s sexual health issues forming a barrier in terms of the stigma around seeking care?

00:12:53:07- How does this shift when we talk about access for how adult women access care for reproductive issues? 

00:14:42:00- How comfortable are married women speaking to their families about their sexual and reproductive issues? 

00:18:30:02- Why do so many young women undergo hysterectomies in parts of India? What kind of state interventions are needed to address this problem? 

00:25:29:23- Historically, has there in a shift in how we look at hysterectomies, in terms of dealing with gynecological issues which are misrecognised or not treated properly? 

00:27:59:11- What are the potential health problems with a hysterectomy? And what other functions does the womb serve in the body? 

00:32:01:03- How can we better utilize the potential of women’s groups for better health and nutritional outcomes? And what does it mean for groups to go beyond information dissemination and actually engage in community building practices? 

00:37:45:11- Why do solutions need to stem from questions about problems women are facing, as opposed to a top-down approach? When have top-down approaches failed? 

00:42:36:23- How has the COVID crisis impacted the functioning of women’s groups in India? What  interventions are needed to deal with these challenges?


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