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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb 26

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol


Covid-19 and its implications for the provision of gynecological services globally.


Az Khan M, Mahmood T, Konje JC
Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2022 Feb 26; 272:58-63.
PMID: 35286919.


Covid-19 took the world by surprise and has completely changed the way humans live and work. There is hardly an aspect of life that has not been affected. Whether social, economic, physical, psychological, cultural or religious, this pandemic has revolutionized every aspect of our lives and some of these changes are here to stay for the unforeseeable time. Although much has been written about the negative effects of Covid-19 on our social lives, some technological advances on COVID-19 have profoundly affected various aspects of our lives. These are mostly to do with how we communicate, deliver health services, innovate and investigate new preventative measures and treatments, travel and indeed influenced the carbon footprint of the planet. Although most of gynaecology is elective and was therefore not considered a priority in the early phases of COVI-19, there are considerable consequences of delaying treatment for some of these elective conditions. Of particular importance are infertility, pre-malignant conditions, chronic pelvic pain, sexual disorders and those affecting the psychological and social aspects of women and families. The pandemic forced a rethink of how healthcare is delivered with wide adoption of remote/virtual consultation and triaging of clinical presentations. The rapid development of immunization and drugs against the virus was met with doubts by a large proportion of the population with reluctance to accept these. Consequently, there remains unvaccinated portions of both low and high-risk populations, some of whom may be denied access to gynaecological care. On the other hand, some pregnant women who are frightened of the impact of vaccination on pregnancy put their own lives at risk. While significant progress has been made to combat the pandemic, lessons about healthcare delivery (face-to-face versus virtual), education of the end users and introduction of new technologies into the development of drugs and vaccines must be evaluated and improved moving forward not only during the ongoing epidemic but with future outbreaks.