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Self-Reported Symptoms of Gynecological Morbidity and their Treatment in South India

Jagdish C. Bhatia and John Cleland
Studies in Family Planning
Vol. 26, No. 4 (Jul. - Aug., 1995), pp. 203-216
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/2137846
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137846
Page Count: 14
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Self-Reported Symptoms of Gynecological Morbidity and their Treatment in South India
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Abstract

This article presents an analysis of self-reported symptoms of gynecological problems among 3,600 recent mothers in Karnataka State, India. Approximately one-third of all women reported at least one current symptom; the most common were a feeling of weakness and tiredness (suggestive of anemia); menstrual disorders; white or colored vaginal discharge (suggestive of lower reproductive tract infection); and lower abdominal pain and discharge with fever (suggestive of acute pelvic inflammatory disease). Obstetric morbidity, associated with the last live birth, was strongly predictive of current gynecological symptoms. Women who delivered their last child in a private institution were significantly less likely to report symptoms than were those who delivered at home or in a government hospital. Nonusers or users of reversible contraceptive methods were also less likely to report symptoms of morbid conditions than were sterilized women. These associations persisted in analyses controlling for potentially confounding economic and demographic characteristics, and have far-reaching policy implications.

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