Pelvic organ prolapse is an excruciatingly painful condition in which an organ, such as the uterus or bladder, droops as a result of weakened muscles. It is also exceedingly common among women in rural areas who perform hard manual labour regularly. One doctor in Rishikesh noted that she saw four patients with the condition during every outpatient department session.
But because the condition affects intimate body parts, women find it immensely difficult to speak to family members about the problem, let alone access care for it. Instead, many suffer in silence, and continue to work on farms and carry heavy loads, such as water and wood, for long distances.
For Common Ground, Romita Saluja travelled through Uttarakhand to speak to women with the condition, as well as healthcare providers. She found that awareness of the problem is so low that some women go decades without learning that their pain is a result of a medical condition.
You can read her story here.
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