When Pregnancy Harms: Obstetric Fistula

Publication Date: 2012
Author: UNFPA
Publisher: UNFPA

Obstetric fistula is a preventable and in most cases, treatable childbirth injury that leaves women incontinent, ashamed and often isolated from their communities. It occurs when a woman or girl suffers prolonged, obstructed labour without timely access to an emergency Caesarean section. A debilitating condition that has left—and continues to leave—hundreds of thousands of women suffering in solitude and shame, obstetric fistula is undeniably one of the most telling examples of inequitable access to maternal health care and, until recently, one of the most hidden and neglected conditions. 

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