ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Reproductive HealthSubscribe to Reproductive Health

Harvest of Uteruses

Forced to migrate to sugar belt for work, women face multiple reproductive health problems, due to the back-breaking work and poor sanitation and hygiene conditions, including menstrual hygiene. This situation along with an absence of public health facilities, allows a fertile and lucrative ground to the private healthcare facilities to provide unnecessary and extreme treatments even for minor gynaecological ailments, including the removal of their wombs. More than 4,605 hysterectomies are said to have been performed in the Beed district alone in the last three years.

How a Flawed Understanding of PCOS Robs Women of Their ‘Femininity’

This article discusses the understanding of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) among medical professionals in the patriarchal framework and how women experience infantalisation at the hands of doctors.

Delivering Nutrition to Pregnant Women

To reduce the burden of maternal undernutrition in India, select nutrition interventions are delivered to pregnant women at scale through the National Health Mission. But in Purnea, a district in Bihar, delivery is constrained by poor planning and budgeting, delayed fund flow, and shortage of infrastructure and human resources; and funds are underutilised.

Utilisation of Health Facilities for Childbirth and Out-of-pocket Expenditure

Using data from the household surveys on health conducted by the National Sample Survey Office between 2004 and 2014, the utilisation patterns of health facilities for childbirth and the associated out-of-pocket expenditure are analysed. The findings reveal that the utilisation of public facilities for childbirth increased three times in rural areas and almost one and a half times in urban areas between 2004 and 2014, but that most deliveries took place in district hospitals. Also, the average medical expenditure on childbirth in government health facilities declined by 36% in rural areas and by 5% in urban areas. Considerable interstate variations in regard to oop expenditure on drugs, diagnostics and transportation were also witnessed. Though government policies to promote institutional births have improved the utilisation of public facilities and reduced the overall oop expenditure, more needs to be done for the benefits to reach the vulnerable sections, especially in urban areas.

Rising Caesarean Births

India’s rising rate of caesarean births is a cause for concern and signals the need for strategies to deal with it. Adverse outcomes of caesarean births include high risk of maternal and neonatal death, various maternal morbidities including infections, need for blood transfusion, neonatal morbidities related to iatrogenic prematurity, and potential complications in subsequent pregnancies.

In Search of Non-tangential Premises

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 marks a significant shift in the discourse on commercialisation of surrogacy. This article explores issues of altruism, repugnance, paternalism, marketability, exploitation, and assumptions of the moral inviolability of motherhood, with respect to surrogacy in India. It offers close perspectives on the ramifications of altruism in assisted reproduction based on field research and interviews conducted in the cities of Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Anand, and Howrah.

mHealth Solutions for Family Planning Services

There is limited experience in India of using mobile phones for sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, in rural areas where service coverage is still insufficient and accurate information is lacking. Information and integral support can be provided by leveraging mobile health (mHealth) services, but issues of privacy and gender sensitivity are crucial for its success.

Where Is the Husband?

Despite global efforts towards creating awareness and involving men in maternal and reproductive health of women, their participation remains low, particularly among the tribal population.

Right to Safe Abortion

The case of the 10-year-old victim of rape who is pregnant and awaiting delivery after being denied permission to abort by the courts is an urgent indication that all stakeholders must come together and find a solution for unwanted pregnancies of more than 20 weeks.

International Rhetoric, Domestic Evidence

Civil society reports on sexual and reproductive health provide a contrast to the claims and assurances made by the government’s report to an international human rights mechanism on its public health commitments and achievements, with information that is at gross variance to the official report. This discordance questions the credibility and accountability of the government to these international human rights processes and more so, its citizens.

Surrogacy and the Laws on Maternity Benefits

Five high courts across India have uniformly held that women employees who have children through surrogacy would be entitled to maternity benefits in accordance with the rules. How they have arrived at this conclusion is quite different in each case, and each judgment presents different approaches to address this legal question. Beyond the legal question, the approaches must also be closely examined for class biases and paternalistic assumptions about motherhood.

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