OB/GYNs across the UK are having a bit of a moan.
The number of women who seek a specialist obstetric service in England and Wales has more than doubled in the past year, according to figures from the OB/Gyns.
This has led to a huge rise in obstetric anesthesiologists working on the NHS.
However, many doctors are still reluctant to provide the service to women who are suffering from the most severe pain and are in pain beyond the reach of their specialist care.
In an article for the OBGYN Association, Iain Molloy argues that the “medical professions have an obligation to provide safe, competent, appropriate, timely, and effective care to all women and men across the country.”
He believes that there are a lot of reasons why doctors are reluctant to do this work.
“There is a growing body of evidence that there is a link between the way an obstetric specialist delivers an obstetrical procedure and the risk of serious harm,” he says.
“The risks associated with obstetric surgery and anesthesia are well documented.
But, the medical profession is often hesitant to share this information with women in a way that would enable them to make informed choices about the care they receive.”
For some women, the fear of being anally raped is too much for even the most experienced obstetricians to bear.
Molloy explains that women can have their own issues with sexual assault, but that they “may be at risk for other serious physical or sexual harm” if they have an anesthetic.
The UK is not alone.
In Australia, where the incidence of maternal anesthetic use has increased by 100 per cent since 2010, there has also been a rise in the number of cases of severe pain from the use of anesthetic in the setting of obstetric procedure.
According to a recent study published in The Lancet, a large number of Australian women are now at risk of sexual assault if they use anesthetic during a delivery, even if the woman is able to give consent to the operation.
What can an anesthesiologist do to reduce the risk?
If you or someone you know is experiencing pain during an obstetrian surgery, it’s important to seek medical advice from a medical professional.
If you are unsure of where to go for an appointment, try the Australian Healthline website or call 0800 543 354.
For further information, see the full article.
This article was originally published in March 2018.
It has been updated to include the latest information on anesthesiology.