Uterine prolapse prevention in Eastern Nepal: the perspectives of women and health care professionals
Christina M Rad,l Ranjita Rajwar, Arja R Aro
University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark
Abstract: Uterine prolapse is a major reproductive health issue in Nepal. There is a wide range of literature available on the causes and risk factors of uterine prolapse and on the ways to prevent and treat it. There is still a lack of published evidence on what prevention and treatment services are working well or the attitudes toward them. This paper presents the findings of a qualitative study on primary and secondary prevention of uterine prolapse in Eastern Nepal.
Method: The study involved eight focus group discussions with 71 women in six villages of the eastern districts of Siraha and Saptari and 14 qualitative interviews with health professionals from the local to central level. The group discussions and interviews covered the awareness levels of uterine prolapse and its prevention and treatment, as well as participants' opinions on and experiences with the services offered.
Results: It was found that patriarchy, gender discrimination, and cultural traditions such as early marriage and pregnancy make it difficult for people to discontinue uterine prolapse risk behaviors. Women are aware of risk factors, prevention, and treatment, but are powerless to change their situations. Health professionals and women are fond of surgery as treatment, but opinions on the use of ring pessaries and pelvic floor muscle training are split.
Conclusion: The main recommendation that can be drawn from this study is that research on the effectiveness of early treatments, such as ring pessaries and exercise, should be conducted. Furthermore, the involvement of other target groups (husbands, adolescents, and mothers-in-law) needs to be increased in order to make it easier for women to adapt low-risk behaviors. Finally, uterine prolapse prevention should be better integrated in national reproductive health services. Enforcing transparency, monitoring systems, and collaborations are important factors that should be considered as well.
Keywords: uterine prolapse, primary prevention, secondary prevention, awareness, Nepal
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