‘Missed abortion’ cases in Lucknow as women avoided clinics due to Covid fear
Family members said they avoided contacting doctors because they were apprehensive about the women being more vulnerable to infection during pregnancy.Updated: Sep 02, 2020, 01:29 IST
Manisha (name changed), conceived her first baby at the age of 25. Amid the pandemic, she paid her first visit to the gynaecologist in the eighth week of pregnancy, only when she faced a complication of bleeding. She was dismayed to know that the child in her womb had stopped growing. It was a case of ‘missed abortion.’
A missed abortion is a nonviable intrauterine pregnancy that has been retained within the uterus without spontaneous abortion.
She is not the only one in Lucknow to have gone through this situation. Doctors said at least 150 such cases had come to fore here in the last 90 days.
Dr Apeksha Vishnoi, a gynaecologist in Gomti Nagar, said: “In the past one month, I have come across four to five such cases, where women came after they developed complications.”
Gynaecologists in different areas of the state capital said many other women suffered ‘missed abortions’ as they avoided visiting a clinic during the pandemic to avoid being infected by coronavirus.
“I have come across at least 20 such cases in the past one and a half months. The women never visited a doctor until complications made them apprehensive about losing pregnancy. And by the time they reached, the damage had been done,” said Dr Amita Shukla, senior gynaecologist at the late SC Trivedi Memorial Mother and Child Care Trust.
“A visit to the doctor is advised as soon as a woman conceives. But during the pandemic, when small clinics were shut due to lockdown, many women avoided visiting clinics even as the first trimester (3 months) got over, ending up with complications, the most common being bleeding,” said Dr Priyanka Singh, a practicing gynaecologist near PGI.
“Several such cases came up, particularly in July and August. Family members said they were apprehensive about the women being more vulnerable to infection during pregnancy, hence they avoided even contacting the doctor,” said Singh.
Asked if these ‘missed abortions’ could be avoided, Dr Rama Srivastava, president of the Indian Medical Association, Lucknow said, “Certain medicines are necessary to sustain pregnancy after a woman conceives, particularly among those who are not adequately healthy.”
The gynaecologists said families should ensure at least one personal or virtual interaction between the women and the doctors. “Even if immediate appointment is not available, as doctors are not attending too many patients in the OPD, the women may see a doctor in a week or even in 10 days. But one visit will actually guide her to safe pregnancy,” said Shukla.
Many gynaecologists are now offering consultancy over video calls and telemedicine facilities have been started at some hospitals for patients of the gynaecology department.
“Patients are contacting us through telemedicine,” said Dr Malvika Mishra, of the women and child hospital at the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences.