An American doctor Jocelyn Fitzgerald has raised the alarm on Twitter over the culture of silence that enshrouds childbearing and its sometimes dire after effects, including Pelvic Organ Prolapse.
According to her, women are deliberately being kept in the dark about some severe health conditions, including Pelvic Organ Prolapse, that they may develop from bearing children.
In a tweet thread shared to the micro-blogging on April 9, 2022, the UroGynecologist and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgeon said she’s baffled by the number of women who come into her office devastated from learning what could happen to their bodies after having babies.
“To all of the women coming to my office understandably enraged that nobody told them their vaginas could fall out from having babies: I am so sorry that for so long the patriarchy was scared of what you would do with that information.”
To all of the women coming to my office understandably enraged that nobody told them their vaginas could fall out from having babies: I am so sorry that for so long the patriarchy was scared of what you would do with that information.
— Jocelyn J. Fitzgerald MD, FACOG (@jfitzgeraldMD) April 9, 2022
She insisted that women be told the unvarnished truth about childbearing so they can be empowered to make informed choices.
“We must ALWAYS always be on the side of trusting women with the full spectrum of information—good, bad, ugly—and allowing them to make informed choices. Life is messy with a lot of pros and cons to everything. But ignorance is not it.
It isn’t hard for patients to grasp the concept that there is no easy, risk-free way to have a baby or to age! But just as we can counsel about risks of cesarean we can educate on outcomes of a vaginal delivery without it being rooted in fear. It can simply be educational.”
She finished by saying not informing women about conditions such as Pelvic Organ Prolapse is an attestation to the fact that society does not trust women to make the best decisions for their bodies.
“Long story long, my personal and professional opinion is that choosing to withhold education to women on the common existence of pelvic floor conditions like POP because “they’re going to have babies and age anyway” is paternalistic. Trust women with their bodies always!”
According to Women’s Health, Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the muscles and tissues supporting the pelvic organs (the uterus, bladder, or rectum) become weak or loose. This causes one or more pelvic organs to drop or press into or stick out of the vagina. The leading cause of POP is vaginal childbirth, and it occurs in one in five women who give birth.
Dr. Fitzgerald also provided a link to a review that dissected the disquieting condition that affects women.
Meanwhile, Fitzgerald’s thread sparked a heated debate on Twitter as people argued for and against telling women what might happen to their bodies from bearing children. One school of thought argued that sharing such grim information was unnecessary as it only creates fear and panic; another maintained that women deserve to know what they might be walking into.
What are your thoughts?