Hautetalk: Why Are Indian Gynaecologists Obsessed With Weight Loss As The Solution To All Women’s Health Problems?
The last decade has seen a drastic rise in women’s health awareness and people actively taking a step toward inculcating a change they may need towards well-being. Many studies have pointed out a huge rise in the number of women having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid-related issues. Anywhere between a third to a fifth of women who step in for an ultrasound at the gynaecologists’ do so to get tested for PCOS. But, are these studies helping the doctors to make a better diagnosis or is it creating a bias towards people who might not belong to let’s say a certain waist size? With Doctor’s Day today, it’s noteworthy that for the past couple of days, Twitteratti has been quite vociferously sharing their accounts and experiences with gynaecologists in India which didn’t necessarily go well.
A Lack Of Diagnosis
Weight gain has been associated with a range of health issues. Let’s mull on that line for a minute. That’s it. It is associated; it’s not a causal relationship! The life of a random metropolitan person isn’t the same as it was in the early 2000s. But somehow, blaming a person’s weight for every health issue they may have hasn’t seen much of a change.
Personally, I have been subjected to a lot of prejudice by gynaecologists who take one look at me and ask me if I’m happy with the way I look. I really have got to ask. Is this how a human deserves to be treated by doctors who are supposed to help us make a difference? So, I wonder, to what extent is weight really contributing to these health issues?
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Is Weight Really The Problem?
Purely scientifically speaking, a high weight indirectly is a contributor to health challenges ranging from PCOS, thyroid, diabetes and so on. However, experts say that associating your heights with the average weight or measuring a BMI is a crude evaluator of your health. People with an athletic background, dancers and any basic activity throughout the day may also fall in the obese category and it may simply be contributed by genetic factors.
So walking into the office of gynaecologists, if they just look at you and diagnose you for your weight, you might need to find another doc.
To Listen Or Not To Listen
Countless women in the country are exhausted from being told that their bodies aren’t pretty enough because they don’t meet the sizes. Years of research are finally coming to rescue us from this insecurity that has been forced on us for too long. No doubt our environment and nutrition add to the challenges but only a certain degree of your weight can be lost. The dream of 0% body fat is probably as true as the myth of unicorns and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow.
While it is beneficial to include something as simple as a routine walk, it is just as crucial for you to know where to draw the line. If a gynaecologist, who is supposed to help you get better, is sizing you up and giving you judgement instead of healthcare, take it upon yourself to knock on another door. Fatphobia from a doctor? HELL NO!
So, How To Find The Right Gynaecologists?
If you find yourself in this pickle, let me tell you, you are not alone. More importantly, there is a community of gynaecologists out there for you who won’t diagnose your kilos as the root cause of everything. In June 2015, a Twitter user created an open Google form to crowdsource a list of professional and non-judgmental gynaecologists.
If you have one locally, you could try something as simple as giving them a call in advance and having a word with them. Often, both independently run clinics and hospitals have ratings and reviews posted online. There is a range of online websites that have elaborate and genuine reviews of doctors due to a boom in online consultation. If you know someone who has been treated by them and gives you a positive response, that should make things easier.
This may be a no-brainer but just going through the qualifications of the gynaecologist and their length of experience might be a gentle pointer towards the experience that awaits you. Something as simple as asking your gynaecologists’ advice on birth control, period and pregnancy may reveal a lot about their views. Pick a doctor that you’ll be comfortable with as the road to good reproductive health can be uncomfortable, with many personal questions. If you have already been diagnosed with a health issue, consider looking for a specialist to have a better experience.
It’s about time doctors understand us and care for their patients for real. Gynaecology isn’t a field where one could afford to risk it all. Your weight has nothing to do with your ovaries. Stop giving in and find the best doctor for you.