For millennia, medicine has been applied towards three main areas of the human condition: the mind, the body, and the spirit. Traditional Chinese medicine was similar to ancient Indian medicine in that it sought to create a holistic approach to treating illness, and recognised the contributions of psychological and social aspects in disease management. However, in modern Western medicine the profound interplay between the mind and the body is often ignored, and within the context of obstetrics of gynaecology, the complexities of female reproductive health not fully explored.
When disease such as gynaecological cancer strikes, the ravages of the malignancy are compounded by the effects of the treatment aimed at controlling the disease. While surgical procedures and chemotherapy can remove the offending tissue, the possible loss of fertility or reproductive organs can leave deep emotional scars on a woman’s psyche. It is only recently that the importance of acknowledging the psychosocial aspects of disease in women’s health has begun to come to the fore.
In the video series below, Dr Mira Lal explains what a psychosomatic approach to obstetrics and gynaecology entails, and discusses the important issues surrounding female reproductive health today—from IVF to the current scandal surrounding vaginal mesh surgery.
- What is a psychosomatic approach to obstetrics and gynaecology?
- What are the important issues surrounding female health today?
- What is the psychological impact of infertility?
- Fertility treatment: IVF and beyond
Featured image credit: “A poor woman in childbirth being watched by her husband” by Ary Scheffer. CC BY 4.0 via Wellcome Images.