Is Frausein still a disease?
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde-woman.de: Women are healthier and live longer than men. Why do many doctors, especially the gynecologists, talk to us all the time that we are in need of control?
Barbara Ehret: Women are considered the sick sex, and that has a long tradition. The church has for centuries declared us impure and sickly creatures. And the men kept us artificially small with this argument. We still have to bear this legacy.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde-woman.de: We unconsciously consider ourselves weak and vulnerable. , ,
Barbara Ehret:. , , and that makes us easily scared. Your own mindfulness on the body does not matter anymore. Everything should be controlled constantly. Breast cancer is an example of this. The breast is not a gentle, nourishing, sexual organ, but constantly threatened by disease. A kind of time bomb.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde-woman.de: And the gynecologists take advantage of this fear of women?
I was called a witch.
Barbara Ehret: The problem is our pension system. The early detection of diseases is extremely useful to some extent. For example, it has helped reduce cervical cancer. But in the context of prevention, which accounts for 70 to 80 percent of their practice, gynecologists also have many options to uplift bagatelles such as vaginal inflammation, mild menopausal symptoms, small fibroids or ovarian cysts to diseases. The moment the doctor says, "You have a cyst on the ovary that we need to control," a healthy woman is made to be in need of control, if not sick. This game "How do I secure my patient?" I think that's very dangerous!
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde-woman.de: The line between health and illness is indeed often narrow. What does it depend on which side I find myself again?
Barbara Ehret: Everything is normalized in medicine, especially women. The abdominal organs are measured with sophisticated techniques, assessed and using statistical means? which are mostly oriented to young women? compared. If a uterus is not as big as a duck egg, but like a goose egg, that can be enough to get on the risk side, even without pathological changes or discomfort. It depends solely on the doctor, whether he considers a deviation from the norm as normal development or as a diagnosis in need of treatment.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde-woman.de: You have long struggled against unnecessary uterus operations, while doing so with your guild. Has something improved in the meantime?
Barbara Ehret: The uterus has long been considered a "superfluous" organ. Back in the 70s, it was said that women over 40 no longer needed a womb, it would be best if they removed. On the other hand, I went to the barricades and was called a wild fury and a witch. Meanwhile, the number of uterine distances, the hysterectomies, has decreased. While visiting gynecologists still have to prove 20 interventions in the context of the specialist training. But this is only half compared to the past. And we have guidelines that, for example, in fibroids, ie benign ulcers in the uterus, recommend no removal of the organ. But there is still no control system to monitor compliance with these guidelines. So, in my view, still too many operations are superfluous? certainly more than half!
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde-woman.de: Is there an uncritical attitude of the patients with the economic considerations of the clinics?
Women are deliberately unsettled.
Barbara Ehret: As an indication for the removal of the uterus today only cancer, a strong reduction and bleeding, which can not be handled otherwise. Everything else is interpretable. Unfortunately, many women can be manipulated. Some people think they have no menopausal symptoms without the uterus. Of course that's not true! But the women's health movement has become quieter, many self-help groups have been exploited by the pharmaceutical industry, and confidence in the feasibility of medicine is almost unbroken. This often allows women to operate without much thought. Maybe the whole uterus will not be removed right away, but by laparoscopy a "myoma", which could have stayed in the same place as well. And laparoscopy sometimes causes serious complications.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde-woman.de: So before a surgery basically get a second opinion?
Barbara Ehret: The second opinion is indeed paid by the coffers, but unfortunately there are still missing public institutions where you can catch up with them.There are only a few places where there is a network of critical and committed physicians who point out alternatives to women. Getting a second opinion in a clinic is pretty pointless. That's the lion's den.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde-woman.de: What else can women do?
Barbara Ehret: You should not go uncritically into the hands of their doctors and get comprehensive information. And above all, they should appear differently in medical practices. Many women give their self-confidence at the reception desk. There, they receive glossy brochures with services that they have to pay for themselves. And because they fear being treated badly, if they reject a doctor's offer, they let themselves be cheated up a bit. The women are intentionally unsettled. The system of these IGeL services is catastrophic for the relationship of trust between doctor and patient.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde-woman.de: The gynecological practices together with the dentists are the IGeL leaders. Do not they have any work left?
Barbara Ehret: The gynecologists have economic losses, medical services are paid less. In addition, many women no longer take hormones during menopause. The regular checks, treatments for side effects, now everything falls away. The practices have less to do. The IGeL benefits are a welcome subsidy.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde-woman.de: Would not it make more sense to justify a women's medicine that deals with real problems instead of inventing diseases in healthy women?
Women are sick differently.
Barbara Ehret: Unfortunately, the small difference between women's disease and women's health has not yet arrived everywhere. Women are ill differently than men, need other medicines and therapies. In modern medicine they are in many ways still too short. In heart attacks and strokes, for example, they are still treated worse than men. And they are quickly pushed into the Psycho Corner, labeled as a "hysterical woman". Instead of a reasonable treatment they get a sedative. The medical education must change urgently, women's health should finally find its way into all departments.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde-woman.de: So gynecology should rather go in the direction of holistic medicine?
Barbara Ehret: According to research, two-thirds of all gynecological problems are related to the specific life-strain that affects the soul and body. Therefore, only examining the organ system is not enough. But counseling sessions are already underpaid today. At some point they fall away completely, because technical services contribute more. That is bad. Because for women it would be important to have a competent contact person who accompanies them through all phases of their lives. I fear that in the future gynecological practices will outweigh the technical achievements and everything else in the private practice with a lifestyle character takes place. Marketing for a wide range of medically redundant self-payer benefits already exists.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde-woman.de: Can we women stop this development?
Barbara Ehret: Women must finally learn to "vote with their feet". We should no longer go to practices where we are under pressure with IGeL services. We should look carefully where we are in good hands. A doctor who only has lifestyle hormones and cosmetic surgery in mind can hardly provide good medical services. The atmosphere of a practice plays a big role in how the doctor and staff respond to the patient's true needs. And women should, even if they are healthy and go only to screening for early detection, consider: What happens to me here, when I'm actually really sick?
To person: Dr. Barbara Ehret has been working as a gynecologist for 35 years. For a long time she was Senior Physician at the Median Klinikum in Bad Salzuflen and co-founder of the independent working group Women's Health in Medicine, Psychotherapy and Society (AKF). Together with the Frankfurt gynecologist dr. Mirjam Roepke-Buncsak has now written the new great ChroniquesDuVasteMonde book on gynecology. With enormous expertise and critical engagement, the two authors inform women about all questions about female health and sexuality? detailed, understandable, practical and holistically oriented.
Recommended reading: Barbara Ehret: Women, Body, Health, Life ", Diana Verlag 2008, 384 p., 24.95 euros