What is Obstetric Fistula?
Obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder that is caused by prolonged labour without prompt medical intervention, usually a Caesarean section. The woman is left with chronic incontinence and in most cases a stillborn baby.
Obstetric fistula is the most devastating and serious of all childbirth injuries.
During unassisted prolonged labour, the sustained pressure of the baby’s head on the mother’s pelvic bone damages her soft tissues, creating a hole—or fistula—between the vagina and the bladder and/or rectum. The pressure prevents blood flow to the tissue, leading to necrosis.
Eventually, the dead tissue damages the original structure of the vagina. The result is a constant leaking of urine and/or feces.
Obstetric Fistula Complications
Women who have Crohn’s disease and develop a fistula have a high risk of getting complications, such as fistulas forming again later or fistulas not healing properly.
Facts About Obstetric Fistula
- Most often caused by obstructed labor An obstetric fistula is developed when a baby’s head is constantly pushed against mother’s pelvic bones during contractions. This prevents the blood flow and causes the soft tissue to die, and where it dies the holes are created between laboring mother’s vagina and rectum.
- Young girls/women are at higher risk Obstetric fistulas are most commonly occurs among women who give birth without medical help or access to skilled birth attendants. And women who are forced to early marriages and repeated childbearing before their bodies have developed sufficiently to facilitate childbirth.
- Obstetric Fistulas can be prevented and treated These fistulas can be usually prevented by delaying the age of first pregnancy, by stopping harmful traditional practices and timely access to quality obstetric care if complications occur during labor.Women with uncomplicated fistulaecan undergo surgery to repair the fistula (hole) in their rectum or bladder. The Obstetric fistula treatment done by a skilled surgeon cures fistula and regain full control of bodily functions after surgery.
- Obstetric Fistulas still exists Each year more than 50,000 women worldwide are affected by Obstetric Fistula. It is because, health care systems fail to provide accessible and quality maternal health care, skilled care at childbirth, basic and comprehensive emergency fistula care and an affordable Obstetric fistula treatment.
- Rejection and Isolation A woman with fistula is too often rejected by her husband and pushed out of her home as the baby they were expecting will often die unborn. Woman with fistula will be expelled from her village and even family and community, due to her foul smell and devastating consequences of obstetric fistulas.
- Obstetric Fistula often leads to Physical suffering Women who experience this preventable condition of fistula suffer incontinent of urine or feces. And often leads to skin infections, kidney disorders, and even death if left untreated.
- Prevalence and Training According to fistula foundations’ estimation, there are more than two million young women live with untreated obstetric fistula. Despite being both preventable and treatable, very few women received fistula repair surgery. And so, health care professionals are continuously being trained in preventing and managing obstetric fistula.
Obstetric Fistula Treatment
Women are susceptible to develop fistulas wherever emergency obstetric care is weak or ineffective. The only cure or treatment for an existing fistula is if a skilled surgeon repairs it in a simple procedure. Between 80 to 90% of women with uncomplicated fistulas regain full control of bodily functions after surgery.
Our trained and best doctors to treat fistula at SIICP help and treat women with obstetric fistulas.
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