Expert Urges Action on Silent Suffering from Pelvic Floor Disorders

A professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Jos (UNIJOS), Jonathan Abina Karshima has called on healthcare stakeholders to urgently address the severe and often silent suffering endured by women due to Pelvic Floor Disorders (PFD).

NEWSONTHEPLATEAU reports that pelvic floor disorders are conditions affecting the proper function of a woman’s pelvic organs. These conditions include prolapse or sagging of the organs, problems with bladder and bowel function, as well as the weakening of pelvic muscles and connective tissues.

Speaking at the university’s 108th inaugural lecture, titled “Pelvic Floor Bug, The Silent Tormentor of Women: The Lax and Bulges, Holes and Leaks, Seals and Pains,” Prof. Karshima emphasized the silent struggle endured by women facing pelvic floor disorders.

He said “When a woman gives birth, we celebrate. But when a woman dies or is admitted to the hospital, we know she has suffered a lot. Yet, the silent women, those who suffer quietly, are often unheard of”.

As a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Jos University Teaching Hospital, he highlighted the vital roles of the pelvic floor in supporting abdominal organs and facilitating bodily functions such as urination and defecation.

Prof. Karshima noted that pelvic floor dysfunction can lead to various issues, including vaginal laxity and bulging, which are often underreported due to cultural and societal norms. “These women keep quiet, even when they come to us as doctors. If we are not sensitive and do not probe them, they will go home and continue suffering,” he emphasized.

He stressed the importance of medical intervention, including counseling, pelvic floor exercises, energy-based devices, and surgical options for severe cases. Prof. Karshima also highlighted the alarming statistics on conditions like fistulas in developing countries, which cause urinary and fecal leakage due to childbirth-related injuries.

“Out of approximately 150,000 affected women in Nigeria, only a fraction receive adequate treatment due to limited healthcare resources and awareness,” he noted.

Prof. Karshima urged stakeholders to collaborate in addressing women’s health issues like pelvic floor dysfunction. “The pelvic floor bug is a real fixable tormentor, causing women not to think right. Rescuing her from the bug will cause her to think right. When a woman thinks right, the house thinks and gets it right, and so does society,” he said.

The lecture emphasized the necessity of respectful communication, informed consent, and comprehensive management of pelvic floor disorders to improve the quality of life for affected women and enhance societal well-being.

Prof. Karshima called for increased investment in healthcare infrastructure, improved antenatal care, and delivery in well-equipped facilities to reduce childbirth-related complications. He also advocated for more research and education to modify behaviors and enhance understanding of these issues.

Praising Prof. Karshima’s dedication to women’s health, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Professor Tanko Ishaya, emphasized the importance of implementing the recommendations presented in the lecture.

Prof. Ishaya highlighted the need to translate academic insights into practical solutions that can positively impact women’s lives and contribute to broader societal progress.

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